Call for Blackpool's young stars as Blackpool and Fylde Children's Pantomime bosses announce audition process for Beauty and the Beast
It’s a fairytale as old as time and is set to be reimagined by more than 150 of the resort’s youngest shining stars with bosses behind Blackpool and Fylde Children’s Pantomime launching their search this week for the cast of one of their biggest projects to date Beauty and the Beast.
Organisers are calling on the town’s young talent from the age of four to 18 to step up and act, sing and dance their hearts out for auditions on July 4, ahead of the major musical production which will be staged at the Grand Theatre in January next year.
The Church Street Grade II listed theatre, has been home to the pantomime - which is more than 100 years old - for the last three productions and Amie Rutherford, one of the directors said they cannot wait to get back to the venue and stage what will be the ‘biggest and most magical’ of their iconic productions yet.
The AVR dance school owner and the BFCP CIC co-director said: “For the children being in this show is an opportunity to make memories that stay with you forever.
“It’s always been about the children and that is why it is so special but this time more so than ever.
“We’ve been getting excited for some time now but with the auditions so close and plans well underway, costumes, sets, special effects, big screens - honestly it’s going to be huge.
“It’s going to be out of this world scale. We’ve been working with some extraordinary professionals to make it the most iconic yet.
“We want to create a magical experience for everyone but especially the children for who this last year has been so tough - they’ve missed out on so much, school, their friends, clubs, activities so much more - this is for them but also created by them too.
“The reaction so far as well is overwhelming and so many people are just so thrilled to see it going ahead.”
The professionally trained dancer and performer who also bought entertainment venue and hub the Layton Institute, where the dance school is also based is inviting as many local children to get involved, even if they have little or no stage experience.
Amie adds: “It really is for anyone to come and have a go and it’s not just for those in Blackpool either, children from other towns are welcome we want to reach as many young people as possible and a diverse group.
“We have some amazing people we are working with from the theatre industry - for Peter Pan in the last production we had Peter in flight across the theatre and this time we’re going bigger.
There isn’t any thing else like this, it’s a tradition unique to the town and speaks for the wonderful talent we have here.
“It’s also a massive learning experience - these children all coming together applying new skills, getting involved in lots of different disciplines and enjoying time together and after all this time -that’s the most important thing.
“It’s about creating something positive and bringing back lots and lots of smiling faces.
“And of course, we have this wonderful venue in the Grand Theatre and Ruth and the guys there are equally as supportive.”
Auditions will be by appointment at the Layton in Westcliffe Drive, for the lead roles of Belle, the Beast, Gaston, Lefou, Mrs Potts, Lumiere and other characters made famous in the 1992
Disney animated film and then remade in a live action format in 2017 with actress Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the title roles.
Around 180 children in total will be involved in the final production, when rehearsals begin in September. Curtains go up on the musical on January 28 and 29 2022.
Anyone wishing to audition can apply for a slot by visiting the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BFCPanto and filling in the online form.