Magical Line Up for The Victoria Theatre Panto

The Victoria Theatre are delighted to announce their full principal line-up for the magical family friendly pantomime Beauty and the Beast.

Joining Dame Adam Stafford and comic Josh Benson are Jenny Perry in the title role of Beauty, Richard Anthony-Lloyd as Beauty’s father Cedric, Matthew Wellman as Eugene, Sam Willison as The Prince and Lydia Rose Bertie as The Enchantress.

Halifax Beauty and the Beast.jpeg

Richard Anthony Lloyd hails from Yeadon in Leeds and has strong links to Halifax “I first got to know Halifax through rugby. From being smashed on a cold Sunday morning up at Ovenden playing Rugby League to playing Rugby Union for Keighley at every Halifax club over the last 15 years - it's always fun. Before embarking on the Calendar Girls tour which I have recently been in, I performed with the Halifax based theatre company Talking Stock touring with Godfrey's Last Summer playing at The Square Chapel Arts Centre in town. I have lots of friends who are active members of the theatre scene in Halifax and I was planning to direct Spamalot in the town until Calendar Girls came along. 

“I have always loved panto and the way it is so totally different to any other genre of theatre. I love the fact that every show is different and anything can happen at any time. It keeps us on our toes and is always loads of fun. I love the fact that you look the audience in the eye, break the fourth wall and ask them to participate with you in the storytelling. As a teacher I love the history behind panto as we know it and how it came about. Slapstick and panto were always my favourite units to teach!!”

Jenny has performed in a number of pantomimes, however this will be her first time playing Principal Girl.

“I have played everything else apart from principal girl as I have played principal boy, fairy and even villain (Wicked Witch of the West), but it’s my first time as a princess so I'm very happy to tick off the last box!”

“I love the story of Beauty and the Beast. Obviously the Disney films were a big success, but I also think it's one of the few pantos where the heroine takes control of her situation and doesn't need rescuing! She is strong-willed, clever and kind, which are characteristics everyone should aspire to have!”

Sam Willison played Prince Michael in last year’s production of Snow White and is delighted to be back and Beast/Prince for this year.

“My favourite part of performing at The Victoria Theatre last was the audiences we had. They were full of energy and loved to get involved in all the action! Also the front of house staff and crew that we were very lucky to have! They always had a smile on their face and made it a lovely place to work.”

Get your tickets now for this ‘beauty’ of a show! Beauty and the Beast runs from Saturday 14 December 2019 until Sunday 5 January 2020.

For more information or to book tickets please contact the Victoria Theatre box office on 01422 351158 or visit www.victoriatheatre.co.uk

Josh is a smash hit in Halifax!

When we decided to introduce new panto comic Josh Benson to Halifax, we knew it’d be a fun day. We didn’t realise just HOW MUCH fun it would actually be!

Hailing from York, Josh is very much a Yorkshire lad. This year he joins the cast of Beauty and the Beast at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax as the comic, playing the role of ‘Josh’ (see what we did there?).

Whilst Josh is new to Halifax audiences, he is absolutely no stranger to panto, having taken Chesterfield audiences by storm last year.

Josh has got some big shoes to fill, taking over the role that Neil Hurst inhabited for 10 years. However, all those who met him around Halifax recently will vouch for the fact that those shoes will be more than filled by Josh’s wonderfully effervescent personality, amazing comic timing and brilliant clowning ability.

Knowing how much the Halifax panto audiences love a custard pie or 10, we decided that the best way to introduce him to the town would be just that - a pie in every location!

We thought we’d take you through our day so you can see what we got up to! (and keep an eye out on social media for the video!)

Getting a pie in the face outside Harvey’s

Getting a pie in the face outside Harvey’s

Erm, are you sure you’re allowed to do that, Josh?

Erm, are you sure you’re allowed to do that, Josh?

Off to Halifax Borough Market…

Off to Halifax Borough Market…

Next up it was time to head to the Piece Hall (after bumping into the Halifax pink running man, but we didn’t get any photos) - surely Josh was safe from the custard pies here??

Next up it was time to head to the Piece Hall (after bumping into the Halifax pink running man, but we didn’t get any photos) - surely Josh was safe from the custard pies here??

Josh was very relieved to hear there were not going to be any pies at the Library, just a chance to borrow his favourite book, “Josh’s Joke Book”.

Josh was very relieved to hear there were not going to be any pies at the Library, just a chance to borrow his favourite book, “Josh’s Joke Book”.

Surely the staff at Eureka won’t pie Josh? Nope, wrong! Of course they will.

Surely the staff at Eureka won’t pie Josh? Nope, wrong! Of course they will.

Surely Josh is going to be safe outside the Minster with Revd Canon Hilary Barber?

Surely Josh is going to be safe outside the Minster with Revd Canon Hilary Barber?

Introducing Josh to some critical panto props

Introducing Josh to some critical panto props

Josh met Theatre Manager Tim Fagan - who was the first to put a pie in his face!

Josh met Theatre Manager Tim Fagan - who was the first to put a pie in his face!

We headed to Harvey’s to film - and the staff had fun pie-ing Josh (again!)

We headed to Harvey’s to film - and the staff had fun pie-ing Josh (again!)

I want to ride my bicycle….

I want to ride my bicycle….

Josh stops off to get himself a ‘new job’ card at Paper Wishes in the market

Josh stops off to get himself a ‘new job’ card at Paper Wishes in the market

…. and another pie in the face outslde Woresman’s Greengrocers, courtesy of Mick from Grosvenors butchers.

…. and another pie in the face outslde Woresman’s Greengrocers, courtesy of Mick from Grosvenors butchers.

Nope, of course not! This time it was a pie courtesy of Al’s Emporium!

Nope, of course not! This time it was a pie courtesy of Al’s Emporium!

Josh, we DEFINITELY know climbing up there isn’t allowed!

Josh, we DEFINITELY know climbing up there isn’t allowed!

5 minutes of down time outside the Minster…

5 minutes of down time outside the Minster…

Ha ha ha! Of course not. Nice shot Revd Hilary!

Ha ha ha! Of course not. Nice shot Revd Hilary!

The final visit of the day was to Shibden Hall… and naturally they wanted to play the new game ‘let’s pie Josh’ too!

The final visit of the day was to Shibden Hall… and naturally they wanted to play the new game ‘let’s pie Josh’ too!

Adam Stafford Is ‘Dame’ For a Laugh at The Victoria Theatre This Christmas

Adam Stafford 2.JPG

The Victoria Theatre are delighted to announce the return of dame Adam Stafford for their magical family pantomime Beauty and the Beast this Christmas.

 Adam was last at the venue two years ago for their smash hit production of Aladdin and is delighted to be returning for the show he made his Victoria Theatre debut in back in 2012, Beauty and the Beast.

 “As well as loving Halifax itself, I love performing at the Victoria Theatre. It's a proper old theatre and the audiences are always very appreciative and the theatre staff and crew are friendly and welcoming. I was sad not to get to do panto last year but I was living in Beijing directing a play for their Chinese National Children's Theatre which was a great experience.”

 In addition to Beauty and the Beast Adam is currently doing some work for Alton Towers on the new live Teletubbies show and developing a new musical. He also manages a tribute show, Suspiciously Elvis which has played all over the world. Before travelling to Halifax for the festive season he will also be directing a production of Aladdin near his home in London.

 Adam adds, “Panto is very close to my heart and I really love playing dame. It is a lot of hard work but great fun as well. The one bit of advice I would give to anyone wanting to play dame is don’t grow a beard as they always need shaving off for the panto season!”   

 “I am really looking forward to working with the hilarious Josh Benson as my new son this Christmas.” 

 Get your tickets now for this ‘beast’ of a show! Beauty and the Beast runs from Saturday 14 December 2019 until Sunday 5 January 2020.

 For more information or to book tickets please contact the Victoria Theatre box office on 01422 351158 or visit www.victoriatheatre.co.uk