The clock has struck midnight bringing the curtain down on a successful run for the seasonal panto at Durham’s Gala Theatre.

More than 30,000 theatre-goers made it “to the ball” for the Gala’s pantomime production of Cinderella.

Said to have earned acclaim from audiences and critics alike, the production featured a talented North East cast who completed 73 performances at the city centre venue.

Audiences lapped up the frolics and joined in the laughs, with reviewers praising the show’s “beautiful” set, “talented” cast and “entertaining songs and dances.”

The Northern Echo: THe curtain has come down on Durham Gala Theatre's 2023/24 panto run of Cinderella

Ensuring Cinderella was accessible as possible, the Gala included a “relaxed performance”, along with British Sign Language shows with captions.

A recording of the panto was also screened at the Treetops Ward at the University Hospital of North Durham, allowing the young patients and their families to enjoy the pantomime over the festive period.

With the fairy dust just settling on the 2023/24 production, tickets are now to go on sale for the theatre’s next pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, with demand expected to be just as high.

The Northern Echo:

Councillor Elizabeth Scott, the Durham County Council cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “Gala Durham’s annual pantomime is always extremely popular and a highlight of the festive season for many families.

“It’s wonderful to see Cinderella has continued this tradition, attracting thousands of people into the city and showcasing the amazing theatrical talent that exists in the North East.

“The feedback we’ve received from audiences has been brilliant and this is testament to the hard work of the cast, crew and everyone else involved.

“Beauty and the Beast looks set to be every bit as magical and I would encourage people to book in advance to avoid missing out.”

The production of Beauty and the Beast over the seasonal period in 2024/5 is expected to give a new twist to the “tale as old as time”.

Writer Gary Kitching and director Rachel Glover will return for the production, which will transport audiences to a small County Durham village, home to the brainy and beautiful Belle.  

One night, her eccentric father is said to have discovered the abandoned castle of Pity Me, a magical place inhabited by weird talking objects and a terrifying beast.

Audiences can ponder on the question of whether or not Belle will solve the mystery of Pity Me Castle and escape the evil Gaston?

Beauty and the Beast will run at the theatre from Thursday November 21 to Tuesday December 31, which will include British Sign Language performances on Sunday December 1, Saturday December 7 and Monday Monday December 30.

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A relaxed performance will take place on Friday December 6 December; and a British Sign Language and captioned performance on Tuesday December 17.

Tickets will be priced from £10, with family discounts also available.

They can be booked online, via, or by calling the Gala box office, on (03000) 266600.