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Panto cast visit hospice patients ahead of Christmas

Patients at the Marie Curie Cardiff and the Vale Hospice on Bridgeman Road, Penarth, met cast from the New Theatre’s production of Beauty and the Beast – including The Beast/Prince Sebastian, played by Hollyoaks and West End actor Ben Richards.

The New Theatre’s spectacular family pantomime also stars comedian Mike Doyle and Stephanie Webber who visited the hospice last year, as well as Naomi Slights as Beauty.

Lisa Riley, Gareth Thomas and Danny Bayne also star in the show, which promises a production packed full of sensational special effects, beautiful costumes, music, comedy, dancing, and audience participation.

Between performances on Thursday, the busy cast popped by the Penarth hospice, which provides round-the-clock expert care and support for people living with a terminal illness, and their families, to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  They also met volunteers at the charity’s shop on Windsor Road in the town.

“Christmas can be a difficult time for people living with a terminal illness and their families, so we were thrilled to be able to visit the hospice to bring a sprinkling of festive magic to patients, staff and visitors,” said comedian Mike.

Review: Beauty and the Beast, New Theatre, Cardiff

“To be able to meet the patients, their families and to see for a short time the wonderful care provided by Marie Curie Nurses was wonderful.”

Jan Townsend’s granddaughters Hollie and Maisie were delighted with the visit.

“After the girls had been to see the pantomime, they were thrilled to see the cast up close when visiting their grandad Eddie,” she said.

“Thank you to them for coming to see everyone at the hospice, and bringing some joy to the girls this Christmas.”

Sarah Lloyd-Davies, hospice manager, said: “We try to do as much as we can to make sure Christmas continues to be a special occasion for the patients we care for, and their families, leading up to the big day – and on Christmas Day itself.

“We are so grateful to everyone who visits the hospice around this period to provide our patients – and our staff – with a little entertainment.

“Thank you to the cast of Beauty and the Beast for coming along and spreading some festive cheer.”

  • Marie Curie’s Information and Support Line will have extended opening hours over Christmas.  The Support Line will be open from 10am to 4pm on Christmas Eve and from 10am to 2pm on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  On New Years’s Eve it will open from 10am to 4pm, and 10am to 2pm again on New Year’s Day.  If you need support, call 0800 090 2309.