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Thousands of panto lovers have a ball at Cinderella

Jan 16, 2024 | Leisure & Lifestyle

The clock has struck midnight on Gala Durham’s spellbinding pantomime Cinderella, with more than 30,000 theatre-goers joining in the fun.

Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, the magical production featured a talented North East cast who delivered 73 unforgettable performances at the Durham City venue.

One audience member described the pantomime as “absolutely brilliant”, adding: “Well done to all the cast. Never laughed so much from beginning to end. Best panto I’ve seen in a long time.”

Another said: “Totally lovely as usual! We come as a family who travel across the country to be together for Christmas and our biggest celebration is the Gala Durham panto.”

Other reviewers praised the “beautiful” set, “talented” cast and “entertaining songs and dances.”

To ensure Cinderella was accessible as possible, Gala Durham staged a relaxed performance, along with shows with captions and British Sign Language. A recording of Cinderella was also played at the Treetops Ward of University of Durham Hospital, allowing children and their families to enjoy the pantomime over the festive period.

And while panto season has come to an end, tickets are now on sale for Gala Durham’s next pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, with demand expected to be high.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships at Durham County Council, said: “Gala Durham’s annual pantomime is always extremely popular and a highlight of the festive season for many families. It’s wonderful to see Cinderella has continued this tradition, attracting thousands of people into Durham City and showcasing the amazing theatrical talent that exists in the North East.

“The feedback we have received from audiences has been brilliant and this is testament to the hard work of the cast, crew and everyone else involved.

“Beauty and the Beast looks set to be every bit as magical and I would encourage people to book in advance to avoid missing out.”

The Gala Durham production of Beauty and the Beast will give a new twist to this tale as old as time. Writer Gary Kitching and director Rachel Glover will return for the production, which will transport audiences to a small County Durham village, home to the brainy and beautiful Belle.

One night, Belle’s eccentric father finds the abandoned castle of Pity Me, a magical place inhabited by weird talking inanimate objects and a terrifying beast. Will Belle solve the mystery of Pity Me Castle and escape the evil Gaston?

Beauty and the Beast will run at Gala Durham from Thursday 21 November to Tuesday 31 December, including British Sign Language performances on Sunday 1, Saturday 7 and Monday 30 December; a relaxed performance on Friday 6 December; and a British Sign Language and captioned performance on Tuesday 17 December.

Tickets, priced from £10 with family discounts also available, can be booked by calling Gala Durham’s Box Office on 03000 266 600, or online at www.galadurham.co.uk/beauty-and-the-beast