Huge success for Derby's Bumper Christmas

The Cast of Beauty and the Beast, credit Robert Day

Thu 4 Jan 2018

Derby LIVE’s bumper festive season began with the Christmas Light’s Switch On in the Market Place before the opening of the Cathedral Quarter 3aaa Christmas Ice Rink. Family Festivities at Markeaton Park returned for a second year with a different theme each weekend in the run-up to Christmas.

Christmas in Derby would not be the same without its Christmas shows. The star–studded family pantomime Beauty and the Beast was co-produced by Derby LIVE and Derby-based Little Wolf Entertainment. In the first year of this new partnership 2017’s show has proven to be the most successful panto yet at Derby Arena. Prince Stroppy Pants and the Christmas Caper at the Guildhall Theatre delighted thousands of children with an enthralling new show that was acclaimed by both audiences and critics.

The star-studded cast included CBeebies’ Mr Bloom, Ben Faulks as Idle Jacques and Derby’s very own Gwen Taylor as The Enchantress. Audiences certainly took to their new pantomime dame Morgan Brind as Betty Brioche who often had them in stitches.  In total, more than 30,000 people went to see Beauty and the Beast over the festive season, including more than 13,000 children.

Almost a quarter of show-goers to the 2017 panto were from outside of the county, some coming as far as Spain, United States, Denmark, France, and New Zealand. Once again the uniquely British tradition of pantomime has shown just how popular it is.

Beauty and the Beast received generous reviews from both the press and from the audience.

“Warm-hearted and lavish panto...”The Stage – 
“The glittering set was lavish and spectacular...”Artsbeat
“Boos and hisses in all the right places.”Derby Telegraph
...our cheeks are still hurting from laughing so hard and for so long!”Derby Days Out
“...a production that is strong on story and offers many a magical moment.”British Theatre Guide 
“Beauty and the Beast was full of humour, gorgeous singing and dancing with a fabulous glittery set and costumes. Highly recommend !!”Boom Magazine
“…a fantastic production full of exuberant and slick performances, local gags galore, laugh-out-loud moments, hilarious slapstick and impressive stunts all bound together with a great storyline that sticks close to the fairy tale that we all know and love.”Burton Mail
“Brilliant evening thankyou to the cast of Beauty & the Beast. Lots of laughs. Looking forward to next year” – Donna Cox – Customer
“It was absolutely brilliant! Such a good show!” – Ali Springall – Customer
“Absolutely brilliant! What a spectacular and professional production! Fabulous actors, dancers, set, jokes! Laughed so much!” – Kerry Venskus – Customer

Prince Stroppy Pants and the Christmas Caperwas a brilliant success which went down a treat with critics and audiences alike. During the course of the run more over 5,000 theatre goers came to see the show.

“Fun for all the family and little one friendly with just under an hour and a quarter of laughs, toilet humour and Christmas magic...”Lots for Tots

“…loved it - such good fun to watch. It was a perfect Christmas show for all the family.”DerbyDaysOut

“…The boys and I were mesmerized by this magical and clever show. Their eyes were glued to the stage and they shifted between laughing hilariously, to joining in, to sitting on the edge of their seats, to clapping in delight.”Boom Magazine Belper

“There's all the laughs, boos and hisses, jokes and participation you'd expect, with lots of 'Hazaars' shouted by the audience….. A great show….”Burton Mail

The Cathedral Quarter 3aaa Christmas Ice Rink returned to the Market Place for another festive season. It provided families and shoppers with a great opportunity to have fun and relax over the festive period.

The ice rink’s return was made possible by a sponsorship agreement between the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID), Derby-based national training and apprenticeship provider 3aaa, Derby City Council, and ice rink providers Christmas IceRinks Ltd. This was the second year of a three year partnership that has given a strong future for the annual ice rink and the City’s festive offer.

The eighth year of Derby’s ice rink has been a great success. Running between Friday 1 December and Sunday 31 December, skaters were encouraged to get into the festive spirit with a range of theme nights and skating aids such as penguins and bananas, allowing people of all ages and experience to have a go. Over 15,000 visitors put on their skates and took to the ice, including over 7,000 children.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 Derby LIVE pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk. The team behind the 2017 smash hit Beauty and the Beast are back with the biggest panto of them all with marvellous moosic, cow-ntless costumes and an udderly ridiculous dame with giant-sized jokes!

Once again Derby Arena will be transformed into magical theatre space, with a star cast, spectacular pyrotechnics and amazing special effects. It will bring together sensational sets and costumes, hilarious comedy, fabulous music and dazzling dance routines, as well as the audience participation that makes pantomime magical.

Jack and the Beanstalk will be on stage at Derby Arena from Saturday 8 December 2018 until Saturday 5 January 2019, tickets priced from £14.75 with concessions, group, school and family tickets available. Customers can save £2 with the Early Bird offer when booking tickets before Thursday 1 November, with other savings available. With hundreds of seats already booked, it’s never too early to book for this fantastic festive treat.

Babbling Vagabonds and Derby LIVE will be back with a captivating new Christmas show, The Dinosaur Who Came for Christmas. The show will runat the Guildhall Theatre from Friday 7 until Sunday 30 December. Tickets priced from £10 with concessions, group, school and family tickets available.

Customers can make use of the Early Bird offer for Jack and the Beanstalk  or purchase tickets for Dinosaur Who Came for Christmas by calling the Derby LIVE Box Office on 01332 255800. Customers can also pick their seats online at here, or book in person at the Sales and Information Centre on the Market Place.

Keep up to date about the latest cast and performance announcements on the Derby LIVE facebook and Twitter.