Christmas is just around the corner, and so is the opening of ALADDIN, a fun-filled family panto at The Empty Space Theatre in Media City, from Wed 14 – Sat 24 December. Salford’s newest venue is welcoming audiences of all ages to enjoy this traditional pantomime with a sprinkling of glitter & sass and, of course, lots of participation – oh yes there is!
When Aladdin finds a magic lamp, he thinks that all his wishes have come true, with incredible riches and the love of Princess Jasmine all within his grasp. But evil Abanazar will stop at nothing to get hold of the magic lamp - can our hero save the day or will Jasmine have to help him out? Is the Empress really as grumpy as she seems? And will Widow Twankey ever get to the bottom of the laundry basket?!
With producer and creative director Jo Fisher at the helm, and writer Heather Phoenix providing the script, this show definitely has a female bias, something that the team were keen to emphasise. Jo says: ‘Jasmine is no shrinking violet here, she knows her own mind and is determined to get what she wants. We wanted to create a strong role model, without losing any of the familiar story and fun elements that make pantos so memorable.’
She continues: ‘I remember visiting pantos when I was young and sharing those experiences with the family is priceless. I want to bring panto to The Empty Space every year, so people can build those shared memories and continue their own Christmas traditions.’
Starring as Aladdin is Lancashire lass Ella Holt; it’s the second time she has performed the role and she’s looking forward to bringing her Arabian experience to Salford!
Heather Phoenix draws on extensive stage and screen experience for an Empress whose fearsome appearance hides a caring side, especially for her daughter Jasmine, played by Ciara-Alexandra Booker. And Ali Babakordi will be dusting off his magic powers for his role as Genie.
This is the third time playing Dame for Manchester-born Andrew Lambe and he promises to bring a touch of drag glamour to the role of Widow Twankey, while the aptly-named Matthew Christmas is summoning up every ounce of evil as Abanazar, he’ll be relishing every boo and hiss!
With tons of songs, dances, and a junior ensemble drawn from stage schools across the north west, Aladdin promises to kick-start Christmas for 2022.
Performances are Mon-Fri eves at 7pm, 2.30pm & 7pm on Sat 17 Dec, 1pm & 5pm on Sun 18 Dec, and 10.30am & 2.30pm on 24 Dec.