Actress returns home for Christmas to become Beauty and the Beast star

Annie Guy is all set to play the lead in Beauty and the Beast
Annie Guy is all set to play the lead in Beauty and the Beast

Actress Annie Guy is coming home for Christmas - after landing a starring role in this year’s panto at The Customs House.

The 24-year-old is no stranger to the Mill Dam venue’s stage, having appeared in several shows as a child with South Tyneside-based stage school, Starset Theatre.

The Custom House

The Custom House

Annie graduated from the prestigious Arts Educational Schools (ArtsEd) in Chiswick two years ago and went straight into playing Rosalie (cover Maria) in West Side Story at Kilworth House.

She has since toured with Thoroughly Modern Milly in the UK, before jetting off to Canada with the musical last month.

Annie, whose parents now live in Seaham, is also a former member of Sunderland-based stage school Centre Stage North East.

Her focus now is on preparing for her panto debut as Beauty in Beauty and the Beast, which runs at The Customs House from Tuesday, November 27 to Saturday, January 5.

Annie, who also played Jane in the fourth series of online CBBC show Dixi, won the role after taking part in open auditions in July.

She said: “I live in London, so I do a lot of shows down there, but my parents are from up north and I started up here, so I used to do shows at The Customs House all the time.

“When I heard about the auditions for Beauty, I thought ‘wouldn’t it be lovely to come home for Christmas and do something where I started’.

“I was over the moon when I got the part - absolutely thrilled.”

It is the first time Beauty and the Beast has been staged as the traditional Christmas pantomime at the theatre.

Stars of the show include the theatre’s executive director, Ray Spencer MBE, who plays Dame Bella Ballcock; Annie Guy who stars as Beauty de Pomefrite; and Steven Lee Hamilton who takes on the role of Pierrot, The Prince/Beast.

Earlier this year, fashion, costume and set designer Paul Shriek’s creations won Best Costume Design in the Great British Pantomime Awards. Shriek works with long-time collaborator Matt Fox and their company Fox and Shriek creates unique theatrical productions.

He said: “Beauty and the Beast’s set and costumes are a smorgasbord of flamboyant imagery inspired by cinematic and theatrical memories – I call it ‘Hollywood vintage couture’.”

For more info, contact the box office on 454 1234 or visit www.customshouse.co.uk.