It’s a piece of casting that would delight the vain Gaston.
And his take on the character is very much inspired by Disney’s animated villain.
“But he’s very much taken with one particular lady – and it’s not Dame Bella!
“I much prefer playing more villainous parts. I have played the prince many times, but you can have a lot more fun as a baddie! I’m the character that audiences love to hate!”
Afnan has previously appeared in Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, Aladdin and Alice in Wonderland at The Customs House, but he took a break from acting to concentrate on his music and modelling career.
He reached the finals of ITV’s Superstar in 2012, as Andrew Lloyd Webber searched for a new lead for Jesus Christ Superstar.
The lure of the stage called him back to The Customs House last year, when he appeared in a production of Gyles Brandreth’s musical Zipp!
Beauty and the Beast runs until Saturday, January 5. Performance times vary and tickets are priced from £9.99.
Executive Director of The Customs House, Ray Spencer, who also directs and co-writes the panto with Graeme Thompson, plays Dame Bella, along with David John Hopper, who plays Arbuthnot.
Beauty is played by Annie Guy, Steven Lee Hamilton is The Prince/Beast, Gareth Hunter is Beauty’s father, the Duke de Pomefrite, Georgia Nicholson is playing the housekeeper, Hortensia, Eleanor Changanis is The Enchantress and Charlie Raine is Cutlet.