PACE Theatre Company has announced the return of its annual Christmas pantomime with festive favourite Beauty and the Beast.

A seasonal treat for adults and children alike, this retelling of the classic tale will run from Thursday 30th November to Sunday 31st December in an exciting new pop-up theatre in a transformed former department store in the centre of Paisley.

With the traditional home of PACE’s annual panto, the Paisley Art Centre, under refurbishment this year’s family panto will take place in The Art Department, in The Paisley Centre (formerly Allders Store/Co-op). Panto will be performed in a fully equipped, pop-up theatre on the third floor, which will be transformed to create a unique and immersive experience from beginning to end.

Heading up a stellar ensemble cast as comedy duo Betty Bouquet and Arty Fartypants are Chris Alexander and Alan Orr. Chris Alexander (Smile, Dundee Rep; Martha and White, Catherine Wheels) has been donning high heels as dame since his first appearance with PACE in 2017, and Alan Orr (A New Life and Opening Time, Oran Mor, The Dolls Abroad and The Dolls Dragged Up, Scottish tour) has turned in comic performances both in Paisley and Dunfermline which have made him a favourite with panto audiences for many years.

Also appearing in this year’s professional cast are Dani Heron as Mayoress/Witch and in the eponymous roles; Tommy McGowan as the Beast and Katie Weir as Bonnie.

PACE is pleased to welcome back Andy McGregor as writer and director for this year’s production; Andy is a playwright, director and composer who is particularly known for his work for family audiences, as well as recent hit productions Crocodile Rock and A New Life (Oran Mor and tour) and Spuds (in association with Beacon Arts Centre). He has previously written several pantos for PACE including The Snow Queen, Lost in Pantoland and 2022’s Cinderella.

Regular collaborator Fraser Lappin, whose previous designs for PACE include Cinderella, The Snow Queen and Jack in the Beanstalk, will bring his inimitable flair to the set and costume design. Fraser’s other recent credits include Designer for The Girls of Cartridge Hut No7 (Outspoken Arts), Crisis: A Rallying Cry (Kick the Door), Associate Designer for Small Town Boys (Shaper/Caper) and Art Director for Nature+ Newsroom and Nature Zone (COP26).

The cast will be completed by 4 teams of young actors, handpicked from PACE’s core youth theatre groups, enhancing the production with their boundless energy.

Jenni Mason, Artistic Director said: “We’re thrilled to announce that this year’s panto will be Beauty and the Beast, which you can be sure will be jam-packed with laughs, music and dancing. We believe panto offers an entertaining and affordable way for families and friends to celebrate the festivities together, with something for everyone to enjoy.

“We’re delighted to be returning to our pop-up space in The Art Department this Christmas, after the success of last year’s production of Cinderella, and are pulling out all the stops to create a fantastic experience for audiences from start to finish.“

Tickets go on sale from Tuesday 29th August 2023 for group bookings and general sale from Wednesday 30th August 2023. If you would like to book, please visit:

Tickets range from £12 – £29.00 with an additional booking fee. Schools and Group bookings of 15 tickets or over get 10% off, thought this excludes the Gala Performance Friday 1st December 2023.

Headline image: Chris and Alan

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