This Christmas, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre launch their biggest pantomime to date. With a production bursting with celebrity names, Aladdin is guaranteed to be a hit.
Leading the cast is the spectacular singer Joe McElderry, fresh off the Joseph tour he will be reunited with his narrator and Britains Got Talent finalist Lucy Kay. Alongside them, Lisa Riley takes to the stage as the glamorously extravagant Slave Of The Ring, who is set to perform one of her famous Strictly numbers in the show.
Also starring is CBeebies Mr Bloom, Ben Faulks, who will be playing the Policeman. Bringing the comedy to the show is Black Country internet sensation Doreen as the Lazy Empress and Stefan Pejic as the evil Abanazar. Similarly, the hilarious Adam C Booth will be starring as Wishee Washee and Neal Wright as the highly animated Genie Of The Lamp. Not to mention, panto veteran Ian Adams will take to the stage as Widow Twankey.
Choreographed by the sensational Matt Flint who previously worked on the last six series of Strictly Come Dancing, there is no doubt it is going to be a visually stunning performance. With the direction of Bob Tomson, who has worked on numerous award winning musicals and multiple TV dramas.
Joe McElderry and Lucy Kay aren’t the only two who are reuniting on stage for Aladdin, after Neal Wright played the original role of Pepper in Mamma Mia on the West End, Adam C Booth then went on to play the role himself.
They have both had an extensive acting career, and this year playing the highly comedic Wishee Washee, Adam said: “Wishee Washee is basically the contact with the audience so you get to get all the kids and audience participation and I am obviously doing lots of comedy and hopefully getting lots of laughs.”
Neal added; ” Well I am the magic of the show, otherwise, nothing happens.” Adam then let me in on some of the surprises in the show: “QDOS put so much money into the production so it is going to be a huge spectacle. They keep making it better each year and it hasn’t peaked yet, it’s a magical show so there are lots of different illusions.”
With only a week and a half of rehearsals, the turnaround in panto is rapid. Neal told me: “It’s a different art form all together, panto has it’s own different atmosphere and techniques as opposed to normal musical theatre. You break the fourth wall.” Adam explained: “You have a week and a half to rehearse, which is great because with panto you don’t want it to be too rehearsed because you want that fresh energy.”
I sat down with the cast to chat about all things panto and what the Wolverhampton Grand have in store for us this Christmas!
On from the 10th of December to the 22nd of January, all tickets and further information can be found here.