Dec 12 2010 by Michael Green, Chester Chronicle
ALADDIN - THE WOK ‘N’ ROLL PANTO (Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, November 26-January 29)
IT’S party time in old Shanghai and the Emperor is laying on a big banquet to announce the engagement of Princess So-Shi to her rich suitor, the mysterious Abanazer. But when Aladdin and the Princess meet on the street, sparks really start to fly. Featuring more than 20 classic rock and soul songs performed by the multi-talented cast which includes Phylip Harries returning to play Widow Twankey. Visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk or ring 0845 330 3565.
ALADDIN (The Brindley, High Street, Runcorn, December 10-January 9)
TRADITIONAL family panto starring Coronation Street and Hairspray star Michael Starke, Brookside's Suzanne Collins, David Heath of Eton Road and X Factor plus local favourite Charlotte McKelvie, winner of Halton's Got Talent. Ring 0151 907 8360 or visit www.thebrindley.org.uk.
ALADDIN (Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, December 10-January 2)
BAYWATCH icon Pamela Anderson will play the Genie of the Lamp in this year’s Christmas production. The show will also star Liverpool favourite Les Dennis as Wishee Washee. Aladdin will be doing all he can to win the heart of the beautiful Princess, but the evil Abanazar will be trying to thwart his plans. With all your favourite characters including Wishee Washee, the Emperor, Chinese Policeman, and of course, the ultimate pantomime dame - Widow Twankey! Visit www.liverpoolempire.org.uk or ring 0844 847 2525.
ALADDIN (Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, December 1-January 2)
IMAGINE Theatre present this year’s traditional family panto at the Lyceum with an all-star cast that includes Tachia Newall from Waterloo Road as the Genie of the Lamp, Ayesha Gwiltt, also from Waterloo Road, as the Spirit of the Ring and Katie Sheridan of Genie in the House fame as Princess Baldroubador. The production also features Leon Craig as Widow Twankey. Ring 01270 537333 or visit www.lyceumtheatre.net.
ALADDIN (William Aston Hall, Glyndwr University, Wrexham, December 9-January 2)
FORMER Blue Peter presenter Tim Vincent tops the bill of Wrexham’s traditional family panto which also stars Hayley Clarke, a finalist from ITV’s Grease is the Word. The story follows the fortunes of Aladdin, a poor boy who battles the wicked Abanazar to thwart his plot to rule the world. Visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk/events or ring 01978 293293.
A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (Emlyn Williams Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, December 9-January 8)
CLASSIC Christmas story from Dylan Thomas which has become a favourite festive tradition. Outside, in the snow, there are adventures with friends - Jim, Dan and Jack, postmen with presents, a fire at Mrs Prothero’s and all the seasonal rituals of the town. Dylan Thomas’ poignant evocation of distant Christmases in the seaside town of his youth captures the essence of enchantment of the most magical time of the year. Visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk or ring 0845 330 3565.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Library Theatre at The Lowry, Salford Quays, December 3-January 8)
THE Library Theatre’s Christmas presentation at The Lowry during its temporary stay at the Salford Quays venue while a new home is built for the company in Manchester is David Holman’s adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. The timeless story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is directed by Rachel O’Riordan who directed Grimm Tales at The Library last Christmas. Visit www.librarytheatre.com or ring 0843 208 6010.
CINDERELLA (Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, Wirral, December 11-January 2)
MARTIN Dodd’s UK Productions present an star cast headed by Jean Fergusson, Jamie Rickers and Jenny Jones. Jean is to appear in Coronation Street and is best known as the bike riding man-hunting Marina in Last of the Summer Wine. Jamie Rickers is the TV presenter of Nickelodeon’s number one weekend show Jamie & Anna’s Big Weekend. Ring 0151 666 0000 or visit www.floralpavilion.com.
DICK WHITTINGTON (Forum Studio Theatre, Hamilton Place, Chester, December 11-30)
THE annual Tip Top pantomime is back with another host of goodies in traditional style. Following the story of Dick Whittington as he tries to make his fortune, come and join Chester’s all singing all dancing panto team as they bring you lashings of fun, slapstick, song and corny jokes. Ring 01244 341296 or visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk.
DICK WHITTINGTON (The Grange Theatre, Hartford, Northwich, December 10-January 3)
X-FACTOR star Rowetta and Andy Scott-Lee are joined by Ellesmere Port actor John Garfield Roberts for this classic family panto as well as Mia Jay Clarkson and Naomi Cooper-Davis. Ring 0844 815 7121 or visit www.quaytickets.com.
NO WISE MEN (Playhouse Theatre, Williamson Square, Liverpool, December 2-January 15)
WHAT would you do for the perfect Christmas? Reality and the ridiculous collide in an enchanting festive adventure whisking you between Marrakech and Liverpool, Victorian England and the present day, as presented by Peepolykus. This is the extraordinary tale of a reckless man who risks everything one Christmas Eve after accepting an irresistible offer from a sparkly eyed stranger. Suitable for ages 8+. Visit www.everymanplayhouse.com or ring 0151 709 4776.
PETER PAN (The Lowry, Salford Quays, December 8-January 1)
LET your dreams take flight with a thrilling musical journey to Neverland as JM Barrie’s classic tale is magically brought to life in this spectacular re-staging of the Tony Award winning Broadway musical. The all-star cast will have audiences hooked this Christmas as Thomas Law (EastEnders) makes his stage début as Peter Pan; Brian Capron (Coronation Street) stars as Captain Hook and Manchester-born TV favourite John Henshaw plays Smee. Stunning scenery, show stopping performances, swashbuckling sword fights and breathtaking flying, all accompanied by soaring music played by a 13-piece live band, make this the North West’s must-see seasonal family treat. Visit www.thelowry.com or ring 0843 208 6000.
PETER PAN (New Vic Theatre, Etruria Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, November 20-January 22)
CELEBRATING the 150th anniversary of JM Barrie’s birth, the New Vic sprinkles some fairy dust over this great classic of children’s literature. Meet the boy who would not grow up, a real fairy, mermaids, Captain Hook and the Lost Boys and take a trip to the magical Never Never Land. Visit the website: www.newvictheatre.org.uk or ring 01782 717962.
PETER PAN (Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl, December 10-January 8)
THE ultimate adventure for every child who never wants to grow up and every grown up who wishes they never had. This year’s pantomime features Steffan Rhodri, as Captain Hook, well known for his role as Dave Coaches in the hit series Gavin and Stacey. He is joined by Tara Bethan (Peter Pan) who is such a well-known face in Wales and also was seen as a finalist in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for Nancy in Oliver! on BBC1. Ring 01745 330000 or visit www.rhylpavilion.co.uk.
THE RED SHOES (unitytheatre, Hope Place, Liverpool, November 30-January 22)
A NEW adaptation of the famous fairy store by Hans Christian Andersen. the show promises to be a musical treat with a total of 12 original songs weaved together in one score magical. One snowy day Grace finds herself in front of a shop she has never seen before. In the window is a pair of magical red shoes that sparkle like rubies. They can give her everything she has ever wanted, but there is a price, they can never come off. Ring 0844 873 2888 or visit www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk.
ROBINSON CRUSOE & THE CARIBBEAN PIRATES (Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, December 9-January 9)
JONATHAN Wilkes and Jennifer Ellison star in this spectacular swashbuckling pantomime adventure. Robinson Crusoe finds himself marooned on a paradise island. Will the evil Captain Cutlass and his gang of pirates beat him to the treasure? Will Dame Dolly Dumpling and her beautiful daughter Polly survive the storm that shipwrecks them? Visit www.ambassadortickets.com or ring 0844 871 7649.
SLEEPING BEAUTY (Everyman Theatre, Hope Street, Liverpool, November 26-January 22)
THE traditional annual Everyman rock ‘n’ roll panto this year takes on the famous tale of the beautiful princess who is cursed at birth by an evil witch and can only be saved by a brave handsome prince. Sarah Nixon teams up with director Mark Chatterton to combine classic songs with the timeless tale. Visit the website: www.everymanplayhouse.com or ring 0151 709 4776.
SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS (Opera House, Quay Street, Manchester, December 3-January 2)
STARRING Coronation Street's Tina O'Brien and Emmerdale's Andy Devine. Mirror, mirror on the wall – which is the most spectacular panto of them all? Brought to you by the same producers as the smash-hit Aladdin, Snow White will feature a fantastic cast, an hilarious script, sparkling sets, lavish costumes, romance, comedy and bags of audience participation. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
THE TIN SOLDIER (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, December 14-January 1)
JOIN the Steadfast Tin Soldier and his friends on an amazing magical, musical, mysterious journey. Chased by an evil goblin, threatened by a monstrous rat, swallowed by an enormous fish - he travels helter skelter towards his appointment with destiny- through thick and thin and even thicker - until he reaches his final destination. From the award-winning team that produced Hood in the Wood and A Tasty Tale. Ring 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.
WE WILL ROCK YOU (Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester, December 3-January 15)
THE smash hit Queen and Ben Elton musical is heading back to Manchester with a cast featuring Noel Sullivan, Ian Reddington and Leon Lopez. Writer Ben Elton has fashioned a hilarious futurist comedy around more than 24 of Queen’s biggest hit songs delivered in a show that boasts the scale and spectacle that marked Queen’s live performances. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
ZACK (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, December 7-January 22)
MANCHESTER comedian Justin Moorhouse stars in the title role of heart-warming Harold Brighouse comedy. A warm and witty tale set in the 1920s, Zack is the unconventional, underachieving youngest member of the Munnings family, whose good heart and cheerfulness are a far greater asset than his brother's crafty greed. This charmingly funny story sees him eventually win self-respect - and a bride. Ring 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.