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News: Durham Gala's Sleeping Beauty is a spellbinding success


Durham Gala's Sleeping Beauty is a spellbinding success


After a successful festive period, a County Durham theatre is now looking ahead to its next Christmas performance.

Over 30,000 people booked tickets for Gala Durham’s pantomime, Sleeping Beauty.  The production, which ran for 73 performances at the Durham County Council venue over the festive period, was written by Gary Kitching and directed by Rachel Glover.  And tickets are already on sale for Gala’s next pantomime, Cinderella, with an early bird offer running until Tuesday 31 January.


Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We had a fantastic festive season at Gala Durham and we are delighted that so many people enjoyed our production of Sleeping Beauty. Our talented cast and creative team did an amazing job, bringing lots of music, mayhem and magic for our audiences. We are committed to delivering a range of exciting cultural opportunities as part of our ambitions for Durham as the culture county, and our pantomimes are a key part of our Christmas programme. We are already looking ahead to our next production of Cinderella, which is set to be full of fun and festive spirit.”

Sleeping Beauty featured a North East based cast, including familiar faces Jacob Anderton and Lauren Waine, playing King Archibald of Durham-ion and Hester the Jester respectively, who returned to the stage after starring in previous Gala pantomimes. They were joined by County Durham actress Jude Nelson playing Sammie The Dog, Zoe Lambert as the Evil Witch Karen, Steve Byron as Nanny Fartoften, Benjamin Storey as Prince Chad of Middles-boroughly and Chloe Jane Millar as Briar Rose.


Over the festive period, the venue spread some festive cheer to children at the Treetops Ward at the University of North Durham hospital by recording a special performance for them and their families to watch together.  In supporting the council’s aim to make theatre accessible for all audiences, the venue also hosted relaxed and integrated British Sign Language (BSL) and captioned performances.

The team behind Sleeping Beauty are readying themselves for a ball as they return later this year to produce Gala’s next pantomime, Cinderella.




Running from Thursday 23 November 2023 to Saturday 6 January 2024, with relaxed, BSL and captioned performances available, tickets for Cinderella are on sale now.

Audiences can save up to £5 per ticket on shows between Saturday 25 November and Sunday 17 December, as well as select January 2024 performances, with an early bird ticket offer.

But don’t let the clock strike midnight on Tuesday 31 January 2023 as tickets need to be purchased by this date to take advantage of the offer.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Gala Durham Box Office on 03000 266 600.

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