His Majesty’s Theatre has announced that stand-up comedy star Janey Godley will lead the cast of this year’s unmissable HMT pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, alongside Call the Midwife star Laura Main, Aberdonian actress Danielle Jam and returning favourites Alan McHugh and Paul James Corrigan, from Saturday December 4.

Aberdeen Performing Arts’ chief executive, Jane Spiers, said: “We couldn’t be happier to announce this wonderful panto cast and can’t wait to see them on the HMT stage this festive season. The panto was sorely missed by all of us at Aberdeen Performing Arts last year as well as our wonderful audiences, so it will be extra special to see the theatre filled with the magic of Beauty and the Beast this Christmas.”

Multi‐award‐winning Scottish comedian, playwright, blogger, best‐selling author and former Scotsman newspaper columnist Janey Godley has performed her comedy shows and one‐ woman play around the world, including off‐Broadway in New York. She is also a regular on BBC Radio 4’s Just a Minute and has appeared on television in River City, Sam Delaney's News Thing, and Have I Got News for You. She became a much-loved figure on social media during the pandemic with her topical voiceover videos. Janey will play the part of Mrs Potty.

Call the Midwife star Laura Main stars as The Fairy Godmother. Born and raised in Aberdeen, Laura made her stage debut in The Sound of Music at HMT aged eleven, before studying at the University of Aberdeen and at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Upon graduating Laura appeared with The Royal Shakespeare Company, at the Open Air Theatre Regents Park, and in several plays and musicals across London’s West End. On television, Laura held roles in Holby City, Monarch of the Glen and Doctors, before taking on the role of Sister Shelagh Turner (née Sister Bernadette) in the multi‐award‐winning BBC drama Call the Midwife, which she has played since 2012.

Actor, and pantomime writer extraordinaire, Alan McHugh will star as Dame Bella Buchan. The Taggart, Limmy’s Show and Take the High Road star has also appeared on the HMT stage in many productions including I Dreamed a Dream and Sunset Song. Beauty and the Beast marks Alan’s 17th HMT pantomime, which he will once again write and direct, in addition to penning the scripts for numerous pantomimes for Crossroads Pantomimes, which will be seen across the UK by thousands of festive theatregoers this year.

Comic actor and River City star Paul‐James Corrigan returns to the HMT panto in the role of Muddles. Best known as Stevie in the popular recurring drama, Paul also starred in the National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch and is known for his much‐loved role of Adam in the stage adaptation of Gary: Tank Commander and also appeared in the television series for the BBC. In 2018 he starred as the lead in the musical version of Sunshine On Leith which toured Scotland. On television he has been seen in Still Game and Scot Squad, In Voluntary, Chewin The Fat, Only An Excuse, Legitt and Rab C Nesbitt.

The star cast is completed by Aberdonian Danielle Jam. Having grown up in the Granite City and first treading the boards here, Danielle studied Acting and Performance at North East Scotland College and then Queen Margaret’s University. She was accepted onto Dundee Rep’s Graduate Actor Scheme and has since performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, A Play A Pie and A Pint, on tour across Scotland, and has been a regular in CBeebies show Molly and Mack since 2018.

Jane added “With 20 years of award-winning comedy under her belt, Janey is a queen of Scottish comedy. She is sure to bring her trademark sharp wit and cheeky sense of humour to her role as Mrs Potty. Laura made such a fantastic impression on our audiences in 2019 and we are thrilled that she is coming back to charm us all once again in Beauty and the Beast.

And Danielle is already a firm favourite with kids through her role on CBeebies’ Molly and Mack, and she will bring great energy and some local Doric charm to the show in the role of Belle.”

“We know how much our audiences adore Alan and his partnership with PJ is really something special. Their chemistry as a duo and with Laura has been tried and tested - it will be a real treat to bring them back together again this year. Add Janey and Danielle to the mix and this year’s panto is bursting with talent and star quality.

“Panto is such a joyful celebration for all ages and it’s a great feeling to have Alan and the gang back in our beautiful theatre. We really can’t wait for you all to see what we have in store. Expect festive fun and laughter, marvel at magical special effects and make unforgettable memories at HMT this panto season.”

Beauty and the Beast will be brought to audiences by the world’s biggest pantomime producer, Crossroads Pantomimes and will bring with it the hallmark of true Scottish comedy, featuring special effects, plenty of audience participation and a chance for audiences to come together and share the magic of live theatre once again

One of the most romantic pantos of all time Beauty and the Beast will be a spectacular and enchanting production for all the family. Beauty and the Beast is on sale now and tickets are available from www.aberdeenperformingarts.com.

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