We may only be a couple of months into the year, but theatre bosses at the Wyvern Theatre are already putting their minds to Christmas as they announce Beauty and the Beast as this year's pantomime.

The venue has teamed up with Imagine Theatre - one of the UK's biggest pantomime providers - to bring a festive retelling of the Disney classic to Swindon this December. 

This comes as the company that owns Swindon Theatres, Trafalgar Entertainment, has signed a deal with Imagine Theatre to put on pantos at five of its regional theatres, with Swindon's included. 

The Wyvern Theatre announced on Facebook that as a result of the new partnership last Christmas' Jack and the Bean Stalk would be followed up by a tale as old as time - Beauty and the Beast. 

"Beauty and the Beast will be sure to make you laugh, cry and fall in love with a host of hilarious and hairy characters - so book your tickets now and discover if Beauty can see beyond appearances and learn to love a beast," it said in the post. 

Managing director of Imagine Theatre, Steve Boden, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with the teams at Trafalgar Entertainment and these five fantastic venues to bring some amazing, high energy, fun-filled shows to the stage this festive season. 

"We can guarantee that through this exciting new partnership our audiences can look forward to the very best in family entertainment this Christmas.”

And Trafalgar Entertainment's joint CEOs Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire have expressed their excitement with the new pantomimes coming to their theatres. 

“Pantomime is in the DNA of Great British culture and as much a part of Christmas as turkey and crackers. We’ve long recognised the importance of panto not only to the theatre industry but to families around the country as they plan their Christmas social calendars, and we want to ensure that audiences in our regional venues are in for a real treat this year," they said. 

“We’re delighted to be teaming up with Steve and Sarah and all the team at Imagine Theatre for the 2022/23 panto season and it’s lovely to be reunited again with Associate Producer Laura Taylor and Artistic Director Eric Potts with whom we spent over a decade producing pantomimes.”

Casting for Beauty and the Beast will be announced over the coming months, with Louie Spence and Adam Woodyatt as celebrity stars in previous pantos. 

Tickets are on sale now on the Swindon Theatres website