A PANTO cast are celebrating a record-breaking opening weekend.

Cinderella opened at Consett Empire on Saturday and opened as the fastest-selling panto in the venue’s history.

The show, which runs until New Year’s Eve, is produced and directed by North-East actress Leah Bell in partnership with Leisureworks, the trust that runs the Empire Theatre.

Nicola Dailly, from Leisureworks, said: “We’re very proud that the Empire’s pantomime has become a firm favourite, renowned for offering top quality entertainment for all. Leah and her team continually produce productions packed full of surprises that amaze our audiences and keep them coming back year on year.”

Starring as Bellie Buttons, Leah Bell is joined on stage by a cast including North East singer Lorraine Crosby, female vocalist on Meat Loaf’s 1993 hit “I’d Do Anything For Love”.

Tickets, priced £14 or £16, are available from leisureworks.net or 01207 218171.

Tickets have also been released for next year’s panto Beauty and the Beast.