BEAUTY and the Beast is the Christmas pantomime coming to the Lighthouse this festive season.

The panto will star children’s TV presenter Chris Jarvis and Michelle Collins, who has featured in EastEnders and Coronation Street.

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“I’m so glad to be back at Lighthouse and I’ve been blown away by the good feeling around this show,” said Mr Jarvis, who will be playing the role of the Dame.

“I’m really looking forward to it, but there have been so many brilliant Dames, it’s a very specific act, so there’s a lot to live up to and a lot at stake."

The production will be the first pantomime to be entirely produced by the arts venue.

Mr Jarvis said: “Producing this show in-house represents a huge investment for Lighthouse and I know it will all be worth it when you see the happiness that it brings.

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“People feel like they need something, they need a lift, because we sort of missed Christmas last year.”

His co-star Ms Collins is also looking forward to be back on stage and putting on a show.

She said: “For a lot of kids, it’s the first time they’ve gone to the theatre and that means you have a responsibility, if your name is on the poster you have to deliver.

“I didn’t do panto last year because of the pandemic, but Chris and I were together in Swindon the year before and we talked about working together again so this is the first opportunity we’ve had, and I jumped at the chance.”

The story features all the familiar events and characters of Beauty and the Beast alongside further inclusions which are a nod to the original 18th century folk tale such as Cupid.

The show, which is written by Andrew Pollard, was originally planned for a production in Salisbury but has been turned into a ‘proper panto’ for Poole said Mr Jarvis.

He added: “It has that traditional humour that maybe we don’t see on telly so much and it has a bit of extra story with all the fun and gags and fantastic costumes, it’s a real party.”

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The cast also features Wade Lewin, as the Prince, who starred in Bridgerton, the 2019 adaptation of Aladdin and the West End version of The Lion King.

Performances will be taking place between Thursday, December 9 right all the way up until New Year’s Eve, with tickets available via the Lighthouse website.