The Winter Garden Bistro was the setting when the Friends played host to the cast and company of this year’s pantomime, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ for an after show get-together.  Around fifty Friends were joined by almost as many guests from the production as they enjoyed a sandwich supper in a wonderfully friendly, happy and animated atmosphere.

Everyone had enjoyed the pantomime: a visually exciting and energetic production and there was much talk about the wonderful costumes: the incredible hoop-skirted dresses worn by Beauty (Emily Bull) and Dame Derriere’s amusing and imaginative outfits – although it was good to see Martyn Knight in jeans minus make-up and wig!  The most elegant gowns were the reserve of Malevolent, the role played by Carly Stenson, probably best known from our TV screens as Steph Cunningham in ‘Hollyoaks ‘ (a role she had played for ten years before moving to the West End in the lead role of Elle Woods in ‘Legally Blonde, The Musical’ ).

All the cast gave so willingly of their time as they mingled and chatted with the Friends.  This was particularly remarkable given the schedule of two (and sometimes three) performances a day and the heavy demands on their voices that creates.

It was brilliant to welcome back familiar panto friends, such as Tucker (Potty Pierre),  Martyn Knight (Dame Derriere) and Adam McNab (playing the Prince for the second time), but also interesting to discover that a number of other cast members were no strangers to Eastbourne theatres either.  Sadly, Chris Jordan was unable to be there, as there were many who wanted to congratulate him on yet another stunning panto.  Roll on Peter Pan in 2015!

(Please click on any of the images below to enlarge.)