A new theatre in the Cotswolds is gearing up for its first ever show.

Chipping Campden’s Cidermill Theatre will open its doors for the first time as it hosts this year’s Christmas panto, Beauty and the Beast.

The Disney classic will take to the stage from December 20 to 31, produced by the Tread the Boards Theatre Company.

A spokesperson for Cidermill Theatre said: “With a cast of larger-than-life characters, side-splitting comedy, sumptuous costumes and fabulous scenery this is a show not to be missed.

“There will be plenty of laughs and festive fun.”

Evesham Journal: Actor Ben Miller cut the ribboning at Cidermill Theatre's grand openingActor Ben Miller cut the ribboning at Cidermill Theatre's grand opening (Image: Cameo Studio)

Cidermill Theatre was officially opened earlier this year, with celebrity guests on hand to cut the ribbon.

Actor Ben Miller, best known for playing DI Richard Poole in Death in Paradise, and chart-topping singer Jennifer Paige joined the crowds for the historic occasion on Friday, September 30.

Based at Chipping Campden School, plans for the theatre first emerged around nine years ago, with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s brother Julian providing supporting along the way.

In total, the project cost around £4 million to complete.

The end product is a performing arts centre that will serve both the school and wider community.

New facilities include the Rockspring Auditorium, with a professional audio and lighting system and retractable seating for an audience of 292, an amphitheatre for seating of up to 100, The Rhubarb Lounge for intimate performances, a fully equipped dance studio, black box studio, classroom and rehearsal areas, dressing rooms and a café and bar.

John Sanderson, Chipping Campden School principal, said: “I could never have imagined that it would take 10 years and a great deal of collaboration and commitment to take the dream of a performing arts centre and make it into a reality.

“The building itself, in all honesty, has surpassed our expectations in housing a range of professional facilities.

“There is now a very vibrant future for the performing arts across the North Cotswolds. Let the show begin!”

Evesham Journal: Principal John Sanderson gives a talk in the Rockspring AuditoriumPrincipal John Sanderson gives a talk in the Rockspring Auditorium (Image: Cameo Studio)

With both matinee and evening performances, tickets for Beauty and the Beast start at £10 per person and are available from the box office, www.cidermilltheatre.com.