Saturday 9th – Sunday 31st December 2023

Beauty and the beast | Dartford Living

Dartford Orchard Theatre are delighted to welcome TV regular Shona McGarty for her pantomime debut as Belle in this year’s family pantomime Beauty and the Beast from Saturday 9th to Sunday 31st December 2023.

Shona McGarty is an actress and singer who is best known for her role of Whitney Dean in the BBC soap EastEnders, where she has been adored by the nation as a series regular for the past 15 years. When she isn’t behind the camera, Shona is a keen vocalist having recorded charity singles in aid of organisations such as Great Ormond Street and Mind. Last year, Shona performed at the Royal British Legion’s annual Festival of Remembrance, where she sang at the Royal Albert Hall in London in front of King Charles III and Prince William.

Shona said: “I’m so excited to be making my panto debut as Belle in Beauty and the Beast this Christmas in Dartford. I once featured as Belle for a Children in Need feature back in 2018, so I can’t wait to play her in panto – it’s going to be so much fun. See you this Christmas Dartford!”

Beauty and the Beastfollows Belle who finds herself transported to a cursed castle and held captive by a hideous beast. To her surprise, the castle is full of magical characters placed under a spell by an evil enchantress. Can Belle see beyond the monster and fall in love with her captor before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose? Or will the Beast’s selfishness cost him the world he once knew and the hand of the girl who has melted his heart?

On the casting, Tal Rosen, Theatre Director at The Orchard Theatre, said; “It’s wonderful news that Shona will be making her pantomime debut in Dartford. We’re excited to welcome her to The Orchard Theatre where she is sure to enchant audiences with her stunning voice in the role as Belle.”

Packed with all the traditional pantomime ingredients Dartford audiences expect, Beauty and the Beast features laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses.

Beauty and the Beast comes to the Orchard Theatre in Dartford for 3 weeks only from 9 December. Tickets are on sale now from £13, To book visit