Big budget Beast bonanza

Child members of the Beauty and the Beast cast are Lottie Pye, Brandon Hunter, Morgan Bower, Kate Bowskill, Brooke Hunter, Annabel Lymer, Gabriel Cooper and (being carried) Darcey Bowles.
Child members of the Beauty and the Beast cast are Lottie Pye, Brandon Hunter, Morgan Bower, Kate Bowskill, Brooke Hunter, Annabel Lymer, Gabriel Cooper and (being carried) Darcey Bowles.

Monster success is expected for a stage show billed as the most expensive amateur production in Morecambe and Lancaster of all-time.

Beauty and the Beast, the stage musical version of the Disney cartoon, has cost the Morecambe Amateurs £32,000 to put on.

Costumes alone have cost £5,000 to hire as the company recreates the classic characters of Beauty, the Beast and the many kitchen utensils who come to life including Lumiere, the amorous candlestick.

“It’s going to be a very spectacular show and we hope people will come out and support it,” said Joyce Warrington MBE, chair of the Morecambe Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (MAODS).

“And I have to stress, because people have been asking, this is not a panto!”

Hannah Morris will play Beauty while audiences at the Lancaster Grand will have two Beasts for the price of one.

After their regular Beast Peter Thompson fell ill recently, the Amateurs called upon the services of Martin Craig to understudy the role, just three weeks before the show.

Although Peter appears to have now made a full recovery, with such a huge responsibility of the main part, it was felt that it was important to have a back up in place in the unlikely event of Peter being ill again.

So while Peter is expected to perform on every performance, Martin will stand in for him on the Wednesday night.

Martin began his theatrical career at the age of eight in the role of Tiny Tim in a school production of a Christmas Carol. Since then, he has been involved in around 140 productions with various societies, has toured with the English National Opera and his most recent appearance was in the Jack Nicholson part in the Witches of Eastwick at The Forum, Barrow.

There are still tickets available and children are being encouraged to come along dressed as their favourite Disney character.

Performances are every night from Tuesday, June 18 to Saturday, June 22, with an additional matinee performance on the Saturday. Tickets can be booked at the Grand box office or call 01524 64695.