Oh no it isn’t! Lowestoft’s Marina theatre launches panto

The cast of Beauty and the Beast panto at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Back from 2nd left, Mary Re

The cast of Beauty and the Beast panto at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Back from 2nd left, Mary Rees Howe (Fairy Rosebud); Jeremy Edwards (Gaston), Rosie Hale (Belle); Matthew Wellman (Prince Francois/Beast); Helen Jeckells (witch); and Terry Gleed (Freddy). Front, Graeme Henderson (Professor Crackpot) and Fenton Gray (Dame Cherie Trifle). Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

There was glitter and greasepaint in the air as Lowestoft's Marina Theatre launched it's annual Christmas pantomime.

Gaston, left, played by Jeremy Edwards, with Belle (Rosie Hale), and Prince Francois/Beast (Matthew

Gaston, left, played by Jeremy Edwards, with Belle (Rosie Hale), and Prince Francois/Beast (Matthew Wellman), in the Beauty and the Beast panto at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

This year's production is Beauty and the Beast and stars Hollyoaks and Holby City actor Jeremy Edwards - who is making a welcome return to his home town in the role of lothario Gaston.

Terry Gleed, who played Pickles in last year's pantomime, is also back on the Marina stage as Gaston's sidekick Freddy.

Mr Edwards, who now lives in Los Angeles, said he specifically asked the show's producer Paul Holman Associates for a part in the Lowestoft production so he could spend Christmas in Bungay with his family.

He said: 'I am very excited. I love to do this job. I get to have a lot of fun and catch up with my family,'

Belle, played by Rosie Hale, and Prince Francois/Beast, played by Matthew Wellman, in the Beauty and

Belle, played by Rosie Hale, and Prince Francois/Beast, played by Matthew Wellman, in the Beauty and the Beast panto at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016


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Mr Edwards said his character starts out the pantomime as a heartthrob but ends up as the baddie when he shows his true colours in the second half of the production.

'I very much enjoy this,' he said. 'I have some funny scenes with Freddy and I get the screams and cheers and the boos too. It's wonderful to have both. It's quite rare.'

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The production tells the story of Belle, whose selfless love for the Beast transforms him back into a handsome prince. The couple are helped and hindered along the way by a cast of larger than life characters including pantomime dame Madam Cherie Trifle, a wicked witch and Fairy Rosebud

Britain's Got Talent star Rosie Hale is taking on the role of Belle while Matthew Wellman plays both the Beast and Prince François.

Belle, played by Rosie Hale, and Prince Francois/Beast, played by Matthew Wellman, in the Beauty and

Belle, played by Rosie Hale, and Prince Francois/Beast, played by Matthew Wellman, in the Beauty and the Beast panto at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Ms Hale said: 'There are a lot of great dramatic and emotional moments. There are so many different sides to the story. You get to have the fun but there is a really beautiful love story as well.'

Mr Wellman added: 'There will be a lot of big songs as well. Some of them you will know but you will have to come along to find out what they are.'

Providing a link to last year's show, Mr Gleed's character Freddy is the twin brother of Pickles. He is reprising the popular selfie competition, which gives theatre-goers the chance to take a selfie with Freddy after the show for the chance to win a prize.

The pantomime runs from Tuesday, December 13 to January 1. Visit www.marinatheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01502 533200 to buy tickets.

Jeremy Edwards, right, playing Gaston, and Terry Gleed as Freddy, in the Beauty and the Beast panto

Jeremy Edwards, right, playing Gaston, and Terry Gleed as Freddy, in the Beauty and the Beast panto at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Jeremy Edwards plays Gaston in the Beauty and the Beast panto at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Pict

Jeremy Edwards plays Gaston in the Beauty and the Beast panto at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Jeremy Edwards plays Gaston in the Beauty and the Beast panto at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Pict

Jeremy Edwards plays Gaston in the Beauty and the Beast panto at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Dame Cherie Trifle, played by Fenton Gray, with Professor Crackpot, played by Graeme Henderson, in t

Dame Cherie Trifle, played by Fenton Gray, with Professor Crackpot, played by Graeme Henderson, in the Beauty and the Beast panto at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

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