Dame Bella Ballcock and Arbuthnot made a surprise visit to Colmans Seafood Temple in South Shields last week to say a big thank you to them for supporting the panto for yet another year.

Owner Richard Ord said: “We’re delighted and proud to be a sponsor again for this year’s wonderful panto Beauty & the Beast at The Customs House.

“It really is the little panto with the big heart. It brings so much happiness to audiences in the borough and beyond, and certainly remains the highlight of the Christmas season for us and our staff and families.”

Colmans was established in 1926 and its restaurant and take-away on Ocean Road, South Shields, has been judged and praised by some of the country’s leading chefs, gaining many national and regional awards.

Early last year, Colmans Seafood Temple opened on the seafront in South Shields, with an iconic design integrating the former bandstand known as Ghandi’s Temple.

Ray Spencer, executive director of The Customs House, who co-writes and directs the panto and stars as Dame Bella, said: “We are thrilled that Colmans are once again one of our sponsors and it was great to pay them a surprise visit to the Seafood Temple to say thank you personally – and of course to sample some of the best fish and chips in the North East, if not the UK!”

Why was the Prince of Peterlee turned into the Beast of Cooksonville by the beautiful enchantress, and how was the hapless Arbuthnot turned into Hénry the vaccum?  All will be revealed as Dame Bella Ballcock leads the band of merry players through an inimitable take on this well-loved story.

This year, Beauty and the Beast will be supporting Metro Radio’s Cash for Kids charity, with donations collected at the end of every show, and The Customs House also being a collection point for unwrapped children’s gifts supporting the charity’s Mission Christmas Campaign bringing festive joy to North East children, who, without this initiative, would not receive presents at Christmas.

Tuesday 27 November to Saturday 5 January

Tickets from £9.99

The Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields

Box Office 0191 454 1234