We’re super excited to announce that Cast’s 2023 panto, Beauty and the Beast, now has its creative team!
Penning the fabulous script is writer, actor and consummate panto performer Neil Hurst. Yorkshire lad Neil has been involved in the world of pantomime for over twenty years, both appearing in them and writing them, and is over the moon to be working with the wonderful team at Cast to create Doncaster’s very own Beauty and the Beast… Especially so, as his wife is a Doncaster girl! Neil’s writing work includes Tracks (TV Pilot), Dating for Dogs (Pulped TV), The Government Inspector (Sidmouth Play Festival / MT Fest 2023), Cinderella (Towngate Theatre, Basildon), The Choir (UCLAN) Cinderella: A Socially Distanced Ball (Turbine Theatre, London) and Ugly (The Other Palace, London).
Directing the show, and also hailing from Yorkshire, is Tess Seddon. Tess is drawn to playful, energetic Northern stories that surprise and entertain audiences. As well as directing and writing, Tess often works with writers as a dramaturg. She runs New Views, a playwriting course for young people for the National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse. Tess trained on the National Theatre Studio Director’s Course and with The Wooster Group in New York and Maxim Gorky Theatre in Berlin. Tess has directed shows for some brilliant UK theatres, such as Theatre Royal Wakefield, Leeds Playhouse, National Theatre Online, Sheffield Crucible, Hull Truck and Royal Exchange in Manchester.
“I am absolutely delighted to be directing this year’s pantomime Beauty and The Beast at Cast. I remember seeing my first pantomime with my family as a child and it sparked my lifelong love of theatre, comedy and music. Pantomime has everything an audience could want, and Beauty and the Beast is no different. I'm excited to get to work with our fantastic cast and young dancers to create a totally hilarious and heart-warmingly magical show that brings people together this Christmas.”
Back for another year and another panto is Jasmine (Jazz) Vessey, who is delighted to be returning to Cast as Choreographer for Beauty and the Beast. In 2022 she not only choreographed our Sleeping Beauty panto, but also performed as the understudy for a pivotal role for two weeks. Jazz is a professional choreographer, IDTA qualified dance teacher, IDTA musical theatre teacher and an acro instructor with the Acrobatic Arts. She’s been teaching dance professionally for 10 years and is now Director and Principal of All That Jazz School of Dance & Acro based here in Doncaster City Centre.
“I’m thrilled to be working on the Doncaster pantomime Beauty and The Beast at Cast again this year with such a fantastic creative team. I’m looking forward to working with the professional performers and the extremely talented Junior Ensemble to see my choreography and ideas come to life on the fabulous Cast stage.”
Joining the team as Musical Director is Sonum Batra. Sonum is a Yorkshire-based musical director, composer and sound designer who studied music at King’s College London, specialising in piano and composition with tutors at the Royal Academy of Music. Her credits as MD/pianist include Pinocchio (Hull Truck), Spring and Port Wine (Bolton Octagon), Sleeping Beauty (Cast), Just an Ordinary Lawyer (Leeds University), 71 Coltman Street (Hull Truck), Aladdin (Buxton Opera House), Just an Ordinary Lawyer (Hull Truck), The Railway Children (Hull Truck), Dick Whittington (Grange Theatre), Aladdin (Embassy Theatre), Bend it Like Beckham (workshop, Dominion Theatre), Bring on the Bollywood (Belgrade Theatre), His Indian Boyfriend (Stratford East Theatre), Kat in Kixx (Stratford East Theatre), John and Jen (Rosemary Branch), Swallows and Amazons (Bristol Old Vic), They’re Playing Our Song (Catford Broadway).
With casting and auditions well under way, we at Cast are thrilled to welcome them all to Doncaster’s theatre. Let the panto magic BEGIN! Beauty and the Beast opens on Thursday 30 November and runs until Sunday 31 December. Book your tickets here.