Beauty and the Beast goes local with E2A’s panto

E2A Inclusive Theatre Group is busy rehearsing for their latest production, Beauty & the Beast. With an all-local cast of over 40 people, the show promises to be the most family-friendly panto ever!

The traditional story of Beauty & the Beast is maintained but as always with the award winning E2A’s pantomimes, there’s a local twist too. Belle lives with her Nanny (loosely based on Mrs Brown) and hopes one day to find true love. So imagine her excitement when she meets Prince Ludwig Oberhausen II of Vienna, now living in the Rowans, whilst out walking in the Rose Garden. Her excitement is short lived, when Gaston makes a promise to marry her first. There are various twists and turns featuring Gast-Off, Gaston’s twin, and also the Evil Ice Maiden, leading to Belle booking flights to Vienna.

The show includes traditional and modern songs, coming right up to date with “What did the Fox Say?” and dances choreographed by local girls, Zoe Drake and Carrie Anne Murphy.

To coincide with the pantomime, E2A has launched a new social enterprise, E2A Fancy Dress Sales & Hire. This is based in the Wee Box Units, above Cafe Coco on Newry Street, and has a wide selection of costumes to hire for shows, LCM Exams or parties as well as plenty of costumes to buy. Also available are wigs, accessories and novelties. E2A recently won a Dragons’ Den-style pitch at the Social Enterprise NI Conference & Awards event and was runner-up in the award for consumer facing business.

E2A’s membership is continually growing, and with an ethos of inclusivity, there is something for everyone regardless of experience, ability or age. As artistic director Jonny Conaghan explains, “The main feature of E2A is getting people involved, whether its on stage, front of house or behind the scenes. We are fortunate to have a keen group who want to learn about stage lighting, or making props or learning customer service skills front of house. Beauty & the Beast will be our biggest production to date, and thanks to prudent budgeting and generous donations, we have been able to actually reduce our prices so that tickets start at just £4, making it a truly family-friendly show with local humour, great music and a bit of romance too!”

The show opens on Friday 6 December at 7.30pm, continues on Saturday 7 December at 2,30pm & 7.30pm and concludes on Sunday 8 December at 2.30pm. Tickets can be booked online, by telephone 07936 267617 or call at E2A Fancy Dress Sales & Hire in Newry Street.