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Show offers lots of fun – but beware the Beast of Kessingland!

11:33 29 January 2014

Kessingland Community Players will be performing Beauty and the Beast. Mark Dunster (Prince/Beast) with Chloe Smithson (Beauty), Karelyn Smithson (Maurice) and Michelle Wood (Gaston).  Picture: James Bass

Kessingland Community Players will be performing Beauty and the Beast. Mark Dunster (Prince/Beast) with Chloe Smithson (Beauty), Karelyn Smithson (Maurice) and Michelle Wood (Gaston). Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

It promises a growling beast, an alluring female lead, sword fights, songs and an irritating runny nose.

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The Kessingland Community Players are putting the final touches to their fourth annual pantomime – Beauty and the Beast – and are promising people a show full of colour, laughter and family fun. With performances on Friday and Saturday, February 1, at Kessingland Sports and Social Centre, the panto is based around the love story of an imposing Beast, who was once a prince, and the Beauty he falls for.

However, their romance is never easy as the scheming villains Gaston and Fiona the Enchantress will be doing everything in their power to prevent them living happily ever after.

The show also features the evil but hapless henchmen Snot Rag, who has a continually running nose, and French Frank.

There is also a traditional panto dame in the guise of Dame Patty 
Pott.

The 18-strong cast has been rehearsing since September and the menacing Beast, played by Mark Dunster, is already said to be sending shivers down his fellow actors’ spines.

Karen Delf, who plays a villager and is overseeing the show, said: “He is a quite scary and quite fierce. He growls rather than bellows. Mark has really got into the role – and he is a bit frightening.”

For this year’s pantomime, the players have purchased a script for the first time. Written by Nick Moore, it has been adapted to give it a local Kessingland feel – with some village businesses getting a mention, such as the Sweat 
Retreat Tea Rooms and Block Automotive.

Chloe Smithson plays Beauty, Michelle Wood and Jean Holt play the baddies Gaston and Fiona the Enchantress, Alan Holt is Snot Rag and French Frank is played by Mandy Mutimer.

The cast also includes Karelyn Smithson playing Maurice and Sam Kresil playing Chip.

Mrs Delf said: “It’ll be good family entertainment. There is comedy, singing, dancing and a great beast.”

The three previous pantomimes by the players were Cinderella, Aladdin and Dick Whittington

■Beauty and the Beast is being performed at Kessingland 
Sports and Social Centre in Francis Road at 7pm on Friday and at 2.30pm and 7pm on Saturday, February 1. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for children. They are available from Sweet Retreat Tea Rooms in Church Road, Village Stores in Field Lane and they can also be ordered by ringing 07813 459904.

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