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Clacton panto Beauty and the Beast a box office smash hit

PUBLISHED: 13:07 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:07 03 January 2018

Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 panto at the Princes Theatre, Clacton. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL

Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 panto at the Princes Theatre, Clacton. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL

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This season’s pantomime at the Princes Theatre in Clacton has become the most successful production ever at the venue – oh yes it has.

Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 panto at the Princes Theatre, Clacton. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 panto at the Princes Theatre, Clacton. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL

Beauty and the Beast, starring TOWIE’s Dan Osborne and a West End cast, was viewed by 12,898 during the three-week run – 431 more than the previous record set last year by the Sleeping Beauty panto.

It is the fourth time audience figures have beaten 12,000, and bosses at the Tendring District Council-run theatre hope to top 13,000 next year.

Peter Pan has already been revealed as the panto for next season.

Mick Skeels, district councillor for leisure and tourism, said: “It was a new venture when the Princes Theatre decided to put on a professional pantomime nine years ago but since then we have managed to grow audience figures by more than 7,000 people.

Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 panto at the Princes Theatre, Clacton. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 panto at the Princes Theatre, Clacton. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL

“This is a fantastic achievement and a credit to all those involved both behind the scenes and on stage.

“We have a tried and tested formula working with Polka Dot Pantomimes and we have continued to bring the audiences through the doors at a consistently high level year after year.

“It just goes to show that panto is still very much a thriving British Christmas tradition which attracts all ages.”

In 2009, the first time a professional panto production was staged at the Princes Theatre, 5,618 tickets were sold.

Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 panto at the Princes Theatre, Clacton. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 panto at the Princes Theatre, Clacton. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL

Since 2013, when Peter Pan pulled in 12,143 ticket sales, the production has consistently topped the 12,000 mark.

Audience figures for the school performances were down on last year, but were more than made up by the numbers attending the regular shows.

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