The summer holidays are over and it won’t be long until the nights start drawing in, and this can mean only one thing… Panto season is just around the corner!

To celebrate the launch of this year’s spectacular Grand Opera House pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, the stars of the show visited Belfast Castle and the city centre to spread some pantomime magic.

Ben Richards (Footballers’ Wives, Holby City, Hollyoaks, The Bodyguard) joined panto favourites May McFettridge, Paddy Jenkins and Georgia Lennon to get the panto party started and surprise a few unsuspecting members of the public.

Ben Richards said: “This will be my first time on the Belfast stage, and I couldn’t be more excited to be playing The Beast alongside this fabulous cast. I’ve heard amazing things about the Grand Opera House panto, and I know everyone’s going to love this year’s show!”.

May McFettridge added: “You’d think that after 29 years I’d have had enough of panto, but for some reason they keep asking me back. This will be my 30th year at the Grand Opera House, and Beauty and the Beast will be the last show before the Theatre closes for restoration, so we’re going out with real style!”.

Last year’s Grand Opera House pantomime sold almost 80,000 tickets, making it the biggest festive show in Northern Ireland. More than 42,000 tickets have already been sold for Beauty and the Beast, which will have all the traditional Grand Opera House hallmarks: a huge cast, spectacular sets, stunning costumes and jaw-dropping special effects, plus bucket-loads of laughter and family fun.

Beauty and the Beast, sponsored by Dale Farm and supported by QRadio, runs at the Grand Opera House from November 30, 2019 – January 12, 2020. Tickets are available at

Nadia Duncan

Author: Nadia Duncan


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