Friday, 2 December 2016

Preview: Aladdin at Whickham Pantodrome


Whickham Pantodrome
Thursday 15th – Saturday 24th December 2016

Gateshead’s biggest pantomime is returning to the Pantodrome this Christmas. NS Pantomimes are once again behind the exciting high-flying adventure, Aladdin which is hoped to top last year’s recording breaking production in the specially constructed theatre venue in Whickham, Gateshead. The theatre setup is being created within a sports venue in which will allow over 9,000 local residents, schools and groups to enjoy festive entertainment on their doorstep this December. The richest pantomime of them all will run from Thursday 15th December until Christmas Eve with a number of scheduled performances for public and schools.

Daniel Mawston as Widow Twankey
The show is being produced by local lad Jamie Owen Gray who recently produced a new live stand up show for Boulevard’s hostess with mostest Miss Rory – One Woman which played to a sell out audience at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House in September. He is also the brains behind an exciting adult pantomime concept which will be staged in the North East in January.  Jamie explains “We’re going new and different with Aladdin this year! Everyone does the same old story over and over again - it’s good to keep tradition there but with this I’m adding in some extra surprises along the way – we’ve sacked off the traditional laundry…the Twankey’s run a different kind of business which fits with the plot perfectly and is messy! Oh and Metro Radio’s Alan Robson is going from Night Owls to Arabian Nights providing the voice for a very special character which is exciting! ”

Sean Gray as Wishee Washee
Jamie is creating the show in collaboration with local writer and composer Thomas Whalley. Thomas, trained at Associated Studios in London, and his recent theatre credits on Londons West End include She Loves Me at the Landor Theatre and Carnival of Dreams at Fairfield Halls. Tom will be putting pen to paper writing this years story which takes us on an exciting new adventure from Peking to Egypt. Tom stresses "Panto is in my blood, my grandma used to produce pantomimes back in the good old days! I relocated to London last year but I am delighted to be able to be writing this years show. Its great writing for your home town - Geordies have their own sense of humour which is different to anywhere else in the country so its great having an amazing local cast of performers and dancers who we know will deliver and the audience will love."

The panto project will once again involve the construction of a full size stage and auditorium within a building which is currently a number of indoor sports courts.  Jamie states We‘ve done it once, it was difficult, I‘m not going to lie but second time round it’s always easier- we cant just turn up to the theatre with our set and costume rails and do the show - everything has to be constructed from scratch. Its difficult to envisage what a show will look like in an empty space, but its exciting. Normally Id go into a theatre auditorium and sit and look at the stage for hours but with this its all drawings on paper. I have a fantastic team behind me so I have no doubt that this years show will be our best yet

Jacob Anderton as Aladdin
Aladdin will be an exciting new version of the well loved story with side splitting humour, stunning sets and a range of beautiful costumes created especially for the show. Jamie adds The public are going crazy for pantomime here, its unbelievable the amount of excitement it is creating between young and old - Gateshead doesnt have its own large theatre so its amazing to be able to offer an affordable family show so close to home that will have the same production standards as some city centre venues.

Tickets: Tickets for Aladdin are on sale now and are available online at or by calling the booking line 0333 666 3366 or for local/group/school sales call 07741 477660. From £10.50. Group and school discounts available. 

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