The Riverfront’s pantomime has been a Newport favourite for many years and after their roaring success with the adventure of Robin Hood, that welcomed over 27,000 people into the theatre and left everyone wanting more, we have all been desperately curious to find out what they’ve got in store for us next. 

The time has finally come, The Riverfront has announced the cast for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Written and directed by Richard Gauntlett, who brought last year’s Robin Hood to life, Beauty and the Beast is coming to The Riverfront stage later this year for a fabulous festive treat. 

Beauty and the Beast – The Riverfront

When an arrogant Prince is cursed to live as a beast his only hope of salvation is to find love – when a charming village girl, Rose, comes into his life, is this the chance he has been waiting for? Can Rose see beyond the hideous beast before it is too late? Can the evil Hecate seek her revenge? 

Back again for another year of festivities is Newport favourite, RICHARD ELIS. Richard who has been performing in The Riverfront’s panto for many years and in recent years has played the role of the much-loved comic. This year Richard is returning as Mickey, the son of Dame Muggins and the best friend of Rose.

Richard is a Welsh actor who has worked all over the world in both Welsh and English language. Throughout his many years of performing, he has gained a wealth of experience in film, TV, theatre, adverts and radio. Many of you may know him from his appearances in the popular Soap Operas, Coronation Street and EastEnders.

More recently Richard has hosted his own podcast with close friend and on-stage enemy Aled Pugh. The podcast is titled ‘Cuppa Tea Is It?’ and has had guest speakers including journalist Vivien Parry, Football Association of Wales Chief Executive Noel Mooney and Welsh bass-baritone opera singer, Bryn Terfel

Richard Elis (Much) – Robin Hood 2022

ALED PUGH will also be returning to The Riverfront for another year, which we’re sure will delight many. Although new to The Riverfront last year and playing an evil, greedy villain, Aled was adored by the audience and received countless compliments on his hilarious performance.

Raised near Ammanford, Aled studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has many Theatre and TV credits, including his well-known Welsh character ‘Bobby’ in the series ‘Stella’, created by Ruth Jones and Gerwyn in Pobl y Cwm. Aled will be returning to The Riverfront stage as evil Mayor Murgatroid in this year’s pantomime.

GARETH TEMPEST is also back in Newport for Christmas and like last year, he’s back as the Dame! Gareth was born in Newport and has been performing at The Riverfront for many years, from appearing in the young company as a child to Prince Charming as a young adult. Last year he was fantastic in the role of Dame and we can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for us this year.

Another familiar face from last year is the extremely talented PHOEBE HOLMES, who audience members would have known as Little Joan in Robin Hood. This year, the Wrexham born actor is returning but as the evil witch, Hecate; her first time playing a ‘panto-baddie’. If you missed last year, Phoebe blew everyone away with her fantastic vocals, her passion for singing didn’t go unnoticed!

Of course, new faces must be added into the mix! From performing in The Riverfront’s recent co-production, Bitcoin Boi, ALEX PARRY is back in Newport playing the role of Rose’s Dad and gamekeeper of the Castle grounds, Hedwin. Alex is a Welsh actor who trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has performed in Theatre and TV for many years.

Also new to The Riverfront pantomime scene is LONDIWE MTHEMBU. Londiwe trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama graduating in 2023 with an MA in Acting for Stage, Screen and Radio. Her credits include Galwad (NTW/Sky Arts) and most recently Truth or Dare (Theatr Clywd). Londiwe is looking forward to making her Panto debut as Fairygoodheart in Riverfront’s Panto this year.

Finally, you can’t have Beauty and the Beast without Beauty. Born in Newport and excited to be performing in her hometown for the first time since she trained, ELIAN WEST will be playing the role of Rose. Elian trained in Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts as an Actor Musician, graduating in 2017. Her theatre credits include ‘Eweniss’ in Robin Hood (Queens Theatre Hornchurch), ‘Celia’ in Worlds Apart In War (Theatr Clwyd), ‘Alice’ in Alice In Wonderland (Sherman Theatre).

The final piece of the Newport Panto puzzle has just slipped into place with the newest addition to their cast. The exceptionally talented HUGO JOSS CATTON has been confirmed as the actor playing Prince Hilarion, who’s been cursed with the appearance of a Beast by the Evil witch Hecate.

A graduate of the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and Guildford School of Acting, Hugo will be bringing a wealth of experience to The Riverfront stage. His portfolio spans from captivating international tours to the grandeur of London’s West End. Hugo also co-founded the acclaimed touring Burlesque theatre company, “Brass Monkey Burlesque,” where he takes on the role of the charismatic Master of Ceremonies.

Jamie Anderson, Creative Development Manager at The Riverfront told us…….

“We are delighted to welcome Hugo Joss Catton to The Riverfront family. We were blown away by his audition and can’t wait for our audiences to meet Prince Hilarion.

His talent will be a fantastic addition to the existing cast members, who together will undoubtedly provide our audiences with an unforgettable experience.”

Hugo Joss Catton

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST opens at The Riverfront in Newport on 29th November running through to 6th January. Tickets for the hugely popular Pantomime are now on sale on The Riverfront’s website – HERE or you can contact their Box Office team on 01633 656757.