THE thrills and spills of one of the all-time pantomime favourites, The Sleeping Beauty, takes centre stage in Darlington next week.

A cast of 40 people from St Augustine's Repertory Society (Stars) is busy putting the finishing touches to the magical tale of the beautiful princess, the wicked witch, a charming prince and...a panda.

Producer Malcolm Frank said: "The panda brings a little extra fun to a pantomime already full of magic and mayhem."

The show, with musical direction by Sue Wellum, opens in St Augustine's Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, next Tuesday and runs for four nights, starting at 7.30pm each night, followed by two shows next Saturday, at 2pm and 7.45pm.

The Friday and Saturday shows are already sold out, but tickets at £4 or £3 for concessions, are available for the other nights from Williams the Music People in Blackwellgate and the tourist information centre in Horsemarket.