Sheffield Theatres announce cast for 2023 panto Beauty and the Beast

    Sheffield Theatres and Evolution Pantomimes announce the principal cast for Beauty and the Beast at the Lyceum Theatre.

    Duncan James (Blue) will be playing Danton and Jennie Dale (CBeebie’s Swashbuckle) will be playing Fairy.

    Both Duncan and Jennie join legendary Dame Damian Williams who will be playing Madame Bellie Fillop, with further principal cast and ensemble to be announced.

    Once again, the show will be written and directed by Paul Hendy (Sleeping BeautyCinderella) and produced by the award winning, Evolution, the same team behind last year’s fabulous panto, Jack and the Beanstalk.

    This fairy-tale extravaganza promises to be full of hilarious comedy, lavish sets, fantastic music, beautiful costumes, magic and mayhem. It’s never too early to book your favourite seats!

    Damian Williams is celebrating his sixteenth year as Sheffield Theatres’ Dame. Duncan James and Jennie Dale both make their Sheffield Pantomime debuts.

    Beauty and the Beast runs from Friday 8 December 2022 – Sunday 7 January 2024 at the Lyceum theatre, Sheffield. Tickets are on sale now and can be booked through the Box Office in person, over the phone on 0114 249 6000 or at

    *Duncan James will not be performing on Sat 16th Dec – 10.15am and Sat 6th Jan – 10.15am.


    Friday 8 December 2022 – Sunday 7 January 2024
    Press night: Tuesday 12 December at 7pm

    Relaxed performance: Thursday 14 December, 10.15am

    Captioned performance: Wednesday 20 December, 7pm and Saturday 6 January, 2.30pm

    Audio Described performance: Thursday 21 December, 7pm
    Signed performance: Thursday 21 December, 7pm

    Cast Biogs

    Duncan James (Danton)

    Duncan James

    Duncan was born an entertainer, starring in school productions and starting his professional career working at a Haven holiday camp, where he was to meet his soon-to-be bandmates Lee Ryan, Simon Webbe and Antony Costa. Blue, the pop group, was born in 2001 and the band immediately signed to Innocent Records.

    They exploded onto the scene and amassed huge commercial success, racking up 40 Number One singles worldwide, three Number One UK albums and sales of over 16 million records.

    In 2005 the guys decided to take a break from the band to pursue other interests, and Duncan saw this as the perfect opportunity to broaden his experience within the entertainment industry. He starred as Billy Flynn in the hit musical Chicago, and became a familiar face on television, working as a presenter on Soapstar Superstar, Capital FM’s Party In The Park, City Hospital, T4, The Clothes Show and GMTV’s Entertainment Today. He also competed in ITV’s Dancing On Ice in 2007 where he became a finalist, and participated in the subsequent sell-out tour in arenas across the UK. He then made his television acting debut in Plus One for Channel 4, in which he played a tongue-in-cheek characterization of his Blue persona, with the series being acclaimed by both critics and the public. Further TV appearances have included Grease: The School Musical for Sky 1, Eurovision: Your Country Needs You (as a Judge) for BBC1, Eight Out Of Ten Cats for Channel 4 and presenting The National Lottery for BBC1 many times.

    In 2009 Duncan returned to theatre, appearing as Warner Huntington III in the West End production of Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre. He then presented the exciting new theme park game show Scream If You Know The Answer on Watch in 2010, which played a second series in 2011, before landing a spot on the judging panel on Channel 5’s new entertainment show Don’t Stop Believing, searching for the group that best represented the spirit of the Glee phenomenon.

    2011 saw the Blue boys come 11th representing the UK at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf with “I Can”. The band released their fourth studio album, Roulette, in 2013 with “Hurt Lovers” as the lead single, before they joined other groups on TV in The Big ReunionBlue continued to thrive with a new album in 2015, and a new TV show on ITV2 – Blue Goes Mad In Ibiza, which followed the band as they launched their own bar.

    He made his pantomime debut in 2014/15 playing the title role in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Birmingham Hippodrome for Qdos Productions. Duncan starred as Prince Charming in Cinderella at the Liverpool Empire in 2017/2018, Aladdin at White Rock Hastings in 2019/2020 and Jack in Jack and The Beanstalk at Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury 2021/2022.

    Duncan went on to play the role of Ryan in the popular Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks. For his role as Ryan, Duncan was nominated for Most Popular Newcomer for the 2016 NTA’s and was nominated for Best Newcomer for the 2017 Soap Awards.

    2015 also saw Duncan return to musical theatre, starring as Tick in the UK tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. In 2018 he reprised his role of Billy Flynn in the West End’s production of Chicago. In 2019, he starred as Frank-N-Furter in the UK and Ireland tour of The Rocky Horror Show. Duncan played Parson Nathaniel in the hugely successful 2022 Arena Tour of Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds.

    In 2020/21 Duncan was the resident headliner for Proud Cabaret in London’s West End. He also competed in 2020’s The Circle, 2021’s Celebrity Masterchef and raised money for charity on TV’s Strictly The Real Full Monty.

    In 2022, Duncan appeared as a guest competitor on the stage version of The Masked Singer, TV’s The Weakest Link, Emily Atack Show, and made various appearances including Celebrity Gogglebox with his best friend, Denise van Outen.

    2023 sees Duncan appearing on Ch4 Jon & Lucy’s Couple’s Therapy with his partner Rodrigo.

    Jennie Dale (Fairy)

    Jennie is best known for playing Captain Captain in the hit CBeebies TV series Swashbuckle and for presenting her own show Jennie’s Fitness in 5 for CBBC. She has also starred on the CBeebies channel as Lady in the Moon in Twas The Night Before Christmasthe Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Jiffy the Big Boss Elf in Christmas in Storylandreprising her role of Captain Captain for a special episode of Justin’s House, and as the Witch in Hansel & Gretel which was also shown in cinemas across the UK.

    Jennie’s other television credits include: Alanna Huxley in Doctors (BBC), Leanne in The Tracey Ullman Show (BBC), Rose Lancaster in Midsomer Murders (ITV) and Freda in Victoria Wood’s What Larks! and Midlife Christmas (BBC).

    In addition to her work on television, Jennie is also a What’s On Stage Award nominated theatre actress. In the West End Jennie has been seen in Elf (Dominion Theatre), The Pajama Game (Shaftesbury Theatre), Sister Act (London Palladium), The Lord of the Rings (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre), Jerry Springer the Opera (Cambridge Theatre), Les Misérables (Palace Theatre), The Witches of Eastwick (Theatre Royal Drury Lane) and Scrooge (Dominion Theatre).

    Her numerous other theatre credits include productions at Chichester Festival Theatre, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Hackney Empire, and Théatre du Châtalet.

    Damian Williams (Madame Bellie Fillop)

    Damian became well known to television audiences in the early nineties for his appearances as Ginger Gahagan in the BBC series Billy Webb and the second series Alfonzo Bonzo. His other television appearances include Lumpy in Spatz; Gavin in Exam Conditions and Ian in The Bill. Most recently, Damian can be seen as Whiff in the CBBC’s series Andy and the Band.

    Damian was the presenter of Damian’s Are You Smarter Than Your 10 Year Old? for Sky One and was also in the recent series of Birds of a Feather.

    Damian is always in demand for Musical Theatre and in 2013 and 2014 Damian played Edna Turnblad in Hairspray both at the Leicester Curve as well as a tour of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

    Damian’s first love is comedy (his heroes are Laurel & Hardy) and he has played various comedy roles from Luther Billis in South Pacific to Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Damian played Tommy Cooper in the new play Being Tommy Cooper, and toured in the one-man play My Dog’s Got No Nose. He also played Tommy Cooper in the short film The Last Laugh, written and directed by Paul Hendy for which Damian won Best Actor at Southampton Film Festival.

    Damian has toured the country for over 25 years and has a wealth of experience in Theatre. A well respected farceur Damian has appeared in: Run for Your Wife; Cash on Delivery; Funny Money; Tom Dick & Harry; It Runs in the Family; Not Now Darling; There Goes the Bride; Out of Order; Caught in the Net; Dry RotSee How they RunDon’t Dress for Dinner and The Ladykillers. Damian has spent 2019 with the cast of ITV’s Benidorm in their UK Theatre tour of Benidorm Live! and has just finished filming for the new series Andy and the OddSocks for CBeebies.

    Damian was born in Tilbury in Essex and lives in Southend with his wife Barbie. They are proud parents of twins, Joshua and Esme, undoubtedly Damian’s finest productions to date!

    This is Damian’s 16th year at the beautiful Lyceum Theatre and in the City he now considers his second home.

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