11,000 have already booked tickets for South Shields Christmas panto

Dame Bella and Arbuthnot are all set for Beauty and the Beast.
Dame Bella and Arbuthnot are all set for Beauty and the Beast.

The Easter holidays are barely over but fans have already snapped up more than a third of tickets for the borough’s annual Christmas panto!

Beauty and the Beast is this year’s production at the Customs House, South Shields, and since the title was revealed in October last year, more than 11,000 tickets have been booked.

Beauty and the Beast sees the return of Dame Bella, played by Ray Spencer, who also co- writes and directs the show, and her hapless son Arbuthnot, played by David John Hopper.

Beauty and the Beast is a new pantomime based on the popular French fairytale.

Originally written more than 300 years ago, it has been retold many times but, this time around, it now gets the unique The Customs House twist.

Why was the Prince of Peterlee turned into the Beast of Cooksonville by the beautiful enchantress – and how did Arbuthnot end up as a bidet?

All will become clear as Dame Bella leads a band of merry players through this well-known story of learning to love the person within.

Ray Spencer, executive director of The Customs House, said: “We’re thrilled so many people enjoyed their last trip to see The Lambton Worm so much that they have already booked to return.

“Several performances have already sold out, including our Christmas Eve shows, and seats are filling up fast for Christmas week, so get your tickets quick.”

Beauty and the Beast runs from Tuesday, November 27, until Saturday, January 5, 2019.

Tickets are on sale now, priced from £9.99, with prices frozen until July 31.

Contact the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or visit www.customshouse.co.uk.