Beauty and the Beast brings festive cheer to audiences this Christmas

It’s a tale as old as time, but theatre audiences will fall in love all over again with one of the most popular fairytales ever told this December.

Consett’s Empire Theatre and Cinema will bring the classic story of Beauty and the Beast to life in an enchanting brand new pantomime production.

The show tells the story of an arrogant prince who is cursed to spend the rest of his life as a monster. To save himself he must win the love of a beautiful young woman, Belle, and soon learns that real change must come from inside.

Following the box office success of previous years’ pantomimes, the theatre has again teamed up with North East actress and producer Leah Bell to transform the much-loved musical love story into a magical live stage show. Unforgettable characters and well-known pop songs create a unique theatrical experience the whole family will enjoy.

As well as writing and directing the show, Leah plays the lovable Mrs Penelope Potts, and will share the stage with a talented cast including comedian Finbar Healy, son of the late great North East entertainer Brendan Healy.

Leah said: “The cast and production team can’t wait to get started with our performances. We always get a real buzz from seeing the families in the audience enjoying themselves.

“Beauty and the Beast is such a well-known story, but we’ve given it a special panto twist, so as well as the characters that everyone knows and loves, there’ll be lots of laughs, sparkle and loads of fun opportunities for people to join in.”

Beauty and the Beast runs until Monday, 31 December. Tickets cost £16 or £14 for concessions, and a family ticket for two adults and two children costs £52. Tickets are available from or by calling 03000 262 400.

Too early to book for next year? Oh no it isn’t! Tickets are now on sale for Empire’s 2019 pantomime, Snow White, which runs from Saturday, 30 November to Tuesday, 31 December 2019. Tickets cost £17 or £15 for concessions, £56 for a family (four tickets, minimum one adult) and school and early bird group discounts are also available.