Curtain rising on Aladdin panto at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

The curtain is finally set to rise on Saturday as Aladdin flies into Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.

Michael Greco stars as the evil Abanazer
Michael Greco stars as the evil Abanazer

Promising a panto packed with a lamp-load of laughs and genie-us special effects, the production will now run until January 7.

Tickets are selling fast for the family-friendly festive spectacular, with theatre bosses urging anyone who wants to see the show to snap up tickets before they sell out.

Aladdin features CBeebies star Ben Cajee in the title role, with Wolverhampton’s own Sofie Anne as Princess Jasmine.

Zoe Birkett as Spirit of the Ring, Tam Ryan as Wishee Washee and Ben Cajee as Aladdin

They are joined by Zoe Birkett, fresh from her West End production of Moulin Rouge The Musical, as the Spirit Of The Ring, with EastEnders’ Michael Greco as Abanazar.

Tam Ryan stars as Wishee Washee, Ian Adams as Widow Twankey, Duane Gooden as the Genie, while Ian Billings is the notary.

The cast is completed by ensemble Lydia Baber-Day, Samara Clarke, Ellie Cooper, Gabriella-Rose Marchant, Louis Quinn, Jack Skelton, Jacob Thomas and Jayd’n Tyrone.

A spokesman for the theatre said: “Ticket sales for Aladdin have been extremely strong and there is huge excitement as we head into our opening weekend.

“Tickets are still available but are selling very quickly as anticipation builds for the pantomime that has been produced in-house by the theatre.

“We believe the reason for such demand is a mix of returning cast favourites, such as Ian Adams and Tam Ryan, who won a UK Pantomime Award for his role last year, celebrity stars, incredibly talented local cast members and the hybrid of traditional pantomime scenery mixed with the LED screen technology.

“It will make for one hugely exciting, spectacular family pantomime!”

While Aladdin has barely got under way, the theatre has already announced its pantomime for next year with Snow White.

The panto will run from December 9, 2023 until January 7, 2024.

Tickets will go on sale to Friends of the Grand and members from 8am online on December 5, 2022, and public sales begin at 8am online on December 7.

Casting for Snow White is to be announced soon.

Adrian Jackson, chief executive and artistic director of the Grand Theatre, said: “Having produced our spectacular in-house production of Aladdin this year, we are extremely excited to begin work on a second in-house pantomime for the 2023/24 season, Snow White.

"There is always huge excitement around the Grand Theatre panto and with tickets on sale next week, we advise early booking for the best seats or you won’t be able to look yourself in the mirror.

"We look forward to welcoming the whole family at this most magical time of year.”

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