Familiar faces in New Vic’s Beauty and the Beast

Published: 28 October 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

The cast of Beauty and the Beast

Newcomers as well as some familiar faces to Staffordshire audiences will take to the stage at the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme for its Christmas 2021 show Beauty and the Beast.

The cast comprises Rhyanna Alexander-Davis as Nigella, Bella Band as mechanical / ensemble, Danielle Bird who played Patty Jones in Frazer Flintham’s Astley's Astounding Adventures at the New Vic in 2018 as Goblin Queen, Jonathan Charles who was the Sheriff in Robin Hood and Marian by Theresa Heskins at the New Vic in 2015 as Wheeliam, Lucinda Freeburn as mechanical / musician / ensemble, Polly Lister, who took the title role in the New Vic’s The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen in 2016, as Warrior Queen, Frederik Pahus, making his professional debut, as mechanical, Nicholas Richardson as the Beast, Solaya Sang as Prunella and Rhiannon Skerritt as Bella. Farhaan Shah will play the violin and be musical director.

New Vic artistic director Theresa Heskins directs and the production will bring together the creative team behind previous New Vic shows The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain in 2019, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson in 2017 and Mary Orton’s The Borrowers in 2014.

Heskins said, "bringing new life to these classic stories is absolutely what we're about at the New Vic. I enjoyed discovering the original version of Beauty and the Beast to create this new version for our in-the-round stage. It's a story about kindness; about love; about not judging people based on outward appearances: themes that feel apt for this time. And it's about magic, which is exciting to me as a director."

Beauty and the Beast will run from Friday 26 November until Saturday 29 January 2022.