Derby panto nominated for four awards

Beauty and the Beast has been nominated for four awards at the Great British Pantomime Awards, which were announced on Sunday.

The star-studded family pantomime was co-produced by Derby LIVE and Little Wolf Entertainment and staged at Derby Arena at Christmas.

In the first year of this new partnership the pantomime proved to be the most successful yet at Derby Arena with more than 30,000 people seeing Beauty and the Beast over the festive season, including more than 13,000 children.

Beauty and the Beast has been nominated in the category of Best Staging and Set, Best Script, Best Special Effect (for the Beast’s transformation) and Best Pantomime of the year 1500  plus+ seats.

It has been nominated alongside venues such as London Palladium and Birmingham Hippodrome for the Best Pantomime of the year 1500+ seats award.

The panto has been nominated for the Best Special Effect award for the spell-binding moment when the Beast transformed into the Prince, which featured flying over the heads of the audience in the Arena.

Little Wolf’s co-founder and producer, and Beauty and The Beast’s own Betty Brioche, Morgan Brind is the nominee for two of these awards, for his design of the stage and set and the script.

Audiences were whisked from the streets of Spondon on the Seine to the inside of the Beast’s enchanted castle via a spooky woodland with ingenious use of a revolving stage.

The awards evening will be taking place on Sunday 15 April at New Wimbledon Theatre.

Morgan said of the nominations: “I’m very excited and flattered to be nominated for these awards, particularly as it truly is a team effort, after all a script is only as funny as the people saying it and the set design is only as good as the talented craftspeople who build and paint it.

“We had a fantastic first season working with the wonderful Derby LIVE staff and the team at the Arena and along with my co-producer Alan I am delighted to see the news spreading and Derby being placed side by side with some of the most established venues in the country. It also means the pressure is on with Jack and the Beanstalk to deliver the biggest panto yet, and I’m already excited by the plans we are putting in place this year!”

Councillor Raju, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism at Derby City Council, said: “It’s fantastic that in the first year of this partnership we have secured four national award nominations. We have a great team in Little Wolf Entertainment, Derby LIVE and Derby Arena, that have really raised the bar. We are all now looking forward to this year’s panto Jack and the Beanstalk.”