Success as Brid Spa panto draws audience of 8,000

The cast of Beauty And The Beast at Bridlington Spa - Big Brother winner Craig Phillips, Maurice Thorogood, Lisa Kelsey and Simon Grant. (PA1238-16m)
The cast of Beauty And The Beast at Bridlington Spa - Big Brother winner Craig Phillips, Maurice Thorogood, Lisa Kelsey and Simon Grant. (PA1238-16m)

MORE than 8,000 people turned out to see this year’s Spa pantomime which has been hailed a resounding success.

The team at the Spa Bridlington have likened this year’s panto to “one big happy family reunion” as they welcomed back stage favourites Lisa Kelsey and Ian Parkin for their rendition of Beauty and the Beast.

While Spa manager Andrew Aldis has praised the cast for working wonders with the script.

“They managed to do great things with quite a difficult script because it isn’t really a panto script, it’s a play script and they had to panto it up and put a bit extra into it,” Mr Aldis said.

“They all grasped the script with both hands.

“It was really positive. The panto cast and the Spa team always join together and it’s like one big happy family event, more so this year because we just felt like we knew each other and what each other was all about,” he added.

This may have been Lisa Kelsey’s third Spa pantomime but her enthusiasm never waned throughout the three week run as she played Beauty.

“Lisa was just brilliant as always, really enthusiastic and she was the one that chivvied people along and kept them all happy and it’s nice that we have got that bit of local talent as she’s from Hull,” Mr Aldis said.

For Ian Parkin, from the Jonathan Ross Show, Beauty and the Beast gave him the chance to take on his first official role as a dame – Madame Fifi – having previously stepped in briefly for last year’s Spa panto.

This was Craig Phillip’s first Spa pantomime but the former Big Brother winner and television DIY Guru did not disappoint as Gaston.

Mr Aldis said he was really impressed by Craig, whom he has described as a “really genuine nice guy”, who never failed to get the details right when given a different charity benefactor to announce at the end of each night’s performance.

The show also featured CBBC’s Simon Grant as the Beast and director Maurice Thorogood who played the part of Professor Crackpot.

Despite the total audience number being slightly down on last year, this year’s performances still generated ticket sales of 8,500, putting it slightly ahead of the figures for 2010.

“The turn out was good, slightly down on last year but similar to the previous year and a little bit more.

“We suffered from a really poorly positioned Christmas this year so there wasn’t an awful lot of performances before Christmas when the kids were still at school, but we will be addressing that for next year,” Mr Aldis said.

And after every performance audience members had the chance to meet the stars of the show, something which Mr Aldis said represented real value for money.

Plans are already underway for the next Spa pantomime which will be Cinderella, which is due to open at the Spa on December 12.

Further details are due to be released at the end of next month.