Panto stars come to town

Getting into the pantomime mood at The Devonshire Park Theatre this week were Carly Stenson, Martyn Knight, Emily Bull and Tucker. Beauty and the Beast opens on Friday, December 12. Picture by Annette Perry SUS-140918-091027001
Getting into the pantomime mood at The Devonshire Park Theatre this week were Carly Stenson, Martyn Knight, Emily Bull and Tucker. Beauty and the Beast opens on Friday, December 12. Picture by Annette Perry SUS-140918-091027001

West End actress and former Hollyoaks star Carly Stenson will be looking to develop a mean streak for her role in this year’s Eastbourne pantomime Beauty and the Beast which runs at the Devonshire Park Theatre from Friday, December 12 to Sunday, January 11.

For Carley, as the wonderfully wicked Malevolent, will be the baddie in this French-flavoured pantomime which will be given the full Eastbourne Theatres treatment under the direction of Chris Jordan.

She was joined at Tuesday’s launch event at The Winter Gardens by three other members of the cast in Emily Bull, Martyn Knight and Tucker. But Adam McNab, playing the Beast, was not present.

Chris told the launch audience that they were sticking to the same successful formula - talented cast, top-class script, superb live music and some closely-guarded surprises.

After a 10-year run in Hollyoaks Carly returned to her acting roots with recent theatre work including as Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical and The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot.

She told the Herald she was very much looking forward to the pantomime and to getting to know a town she had not previously visited.

“All I’ve seen of Eastbourne is the short walk up the seafront in this morning’s glorious weather. It was beautiful.”

West End star Emily Bull makes a welcome return to Eastbourne as she steps into the shoes of heroine Belle. Emily performed at the Congress Theatre for a week in 2013 alongside Will Young as Fritzie in Cabaret but is now looking forward to a longer stint in the town as leading lady in the pantomime.

Emily trained at Arts Educational Schools London, gaining a First Class BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre and winning the award for Best All Round Performer. Her most notable performances include West End roles in Les Misérables as Cosette, Young Lucy in Sweeney Todd and Frenchy in Grease.

Eastbourne pantomime regulars Martyn Knight (11th consecutive season) and Tucker provided the entertainment at the launch for Beauty and the Beast which will be the 14th in-house produce pantomime.