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Aladdin's lamp to give Coliseum a boost

Sam Glen, Sherelle Hepkin and Richard Fletcher get ready to wash and roll. Picture: Darren Robinson
Sam Glen, Shorelle Hepkin and Richard Fletcher get ready to wash and roll. Picture: Darren Robinson

Oldham Coliseum is looking forward to a cash boost when its annual pantomime Aladdin opens on Saturday, marking the end of a Christmas pandemic drought at one of the most sought-after panto venues in the north.

The theatre is famous for opening booking for next year’s panto on the opening night of this year’s show – so some ticket holders going to Aladdin over the next few weeks (November 13-January 8) will be using tickets originally bought two years ago – and buying tickets for Christmas 2022 when they are there.

“Aladdin been announced as a show since November 2019, and we rescheduled it in August 2020, so it’s been on sale for two years as a production and the current run dates have been on sale for over a year already,” explained theatre spokeswoman Shelly Ramsdale.

The panto – a traditionally-styled show renowned for its comedy emphasis – brings back Richard Fletcher as Widow Twankee. Richard has been associated with the Coliseum panto for some years, but graduated from comedy sidekick to Dame when Fine Time Fontayne hung up his dresses three years ago.

He is joined by regulars Sam Glen as Wishee Washee, Shorelle Hepkin as Aladdin and Liz Carney as Aunty Banazar, and the script is still written by Fine Time Fontayne and Coliseum artistic director Chris Lawson.

Other familiar members of the production team, such as set designer Celia Perkins, choreographer Beverley Edmunds and MD Dave Bintley, are still in place, to make this the sort of show Oldham audiences have come to expect – indeed, had come to expect in 2020! Around a quarter of the 79 performances already have limited availability and over a third have healthy bookings. Some performances will be socially distanced, while some will be audio described, BSL interpreted or “relaxed”.

Full details and tickets here


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