STARS of the latest pantomime to be staged at Cardiff’s New Theatre travelled to Newport to promote the show, writes Dan Barnes.

Famous faces such as Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas and TV’s Lisa Riley emerged onto the platform in full costume. A bit of glitter and a spangly outfit certainly brightened up a dreary day and if the costumes are anything to go by then the latest offering from the New Theatre is sure to be a festive hit.

Beauty and the Beast will be coming to Cardiff this year from December 8 until January 13, with tickets starting at £18. The show, as any Disney fan will know, follows the tale of Belle. She must save the beast before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose.

The show holds true to the core well-loved story but, as Ben Richards, who will play the beast, explained: “It’s a pantomime, so there is a lot more comedy. But all the naughty gags are safe naughty gags.

“It’s also a great chance to expand on the characters, so if you love the story, you’re going to get all the things you love and more.”

It wouldn’t be a panto without songs and, while many are familiar with the songs from the movie, the stage show includes a variety of new numbers for audiences to enjoy.

“The music is brilliant,” said Gareth Thomas.

“I think it’s something that the kids will really be able to relate to. We have some seriously talented voices, not mine by the way.”

The former Wales international is no panto rookie, having performed six times in the past. However, his character might be less well-known.

“I play Alfie. You know, that famous role in Beauty and the Beast? I don’t want to give too much away,” he said.

Many people can remember the first panto they ever went to and this is one of the reasons why actors choose to take part.

Lisa Riley, who plays the housekeeper, said: “It’s for the kids. It’s a great way to break the fourth wall and let them know they’re allowed to be involved.

Ben Richards added: “It brings everyone together for a fantastic evening or afternoon out, where you can just thoroughly enjoy yourselves.”

To book tickets, visit