The North West’s favourite traditional pantomime is back for 2021 as Aladdin flies onto the Oldham Coliseum stage for a magic carpet ride packed with hit songs, slapstick, silliness and a generous helping of IT’S BEHIND YOU!
When Aladdin finds a magic lamp it seems that all his dreams have come true, but hiding in the shadows the evil Aunty Banazar has a scheme to steal the lamp and use it to rule the land. With the help of the Jinn of the Lamp, join Aladdin as he tries to save Princess Jasmine, Oldham and the world!
Coliseum favourite Richard J Fletcher is back in heels as Dame Widow Twankee. 2021 marks Richard’s 14th Christmas with the Coliseum; with 11 years as the Comic under his belt he made a triumphant Dame debut as Dame Dotty Trott in 2019’s Jack and the Beanstalk. In 2020, Although the theatre was closed to the public due to the pandemic, Richard’s Dame Dotty Trott was busier than an elf – heading out to local schools, sending messages of thanks to exceptional Oldhamers and beaming into living rooms with a special storytelling adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk.
Shorelle Hepkin has been practising her thigh-slapping as she prepares to step into the role of Aladdin. Shorelle joined the Coliseum’s pantomime company in 2017’s Dick Whittington as Principle Girl, her role evolving each year including with star-turn as Cinderella in 2018 and our heroine Jill in 2019’s Jack and the Beanstalk. Shorelle brought Cinders back for Christmas 2020 performing a one-woman storytelling adaptation of Cinderella in local schools and digitally.
Fresh from filming feature film Three Day Millionaire which will be released in cinemas next year, Sam Glen heads home to Oldham to play Wishee Washee. A previous member of Oldham Theatre Workshop and contestant on BBC’s Let It Shine with Gary Barlow, Sam made his Coliseum panto debut in 2019 in the titular role of Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk.
The wicked villain Aunty Banazar will be played by Liz Carney, returning to the dark side after playing Fairy Nell in Dick Whittington in 2017. Liz’s other previous turns at the Coliseum include Carabosse in 2016s Sleeping Beauty, Dolly in Our Gracie, Edith in Blithe Spirit and Teena Satin in Satin ‘n’ Steel.
Fresh faces to the Coliseum stage are Dora Rubinstein playing Princess Jasmine, whose stage credits include previous performances in pantomimes at York Theatre Royal (Peter Pan, Aladdin) and Cast in Doncaster (Cinderella); Marc Zayat as the Jinn of the Lamp, who was nominated for Best Animal at the Great British Pantomime Awards in 2019 for his role in Watford Palace Theatre’s Jack and the Beanstalk; Alex Phelps as Spirit of the Ring/Pc Crompton (When Darkness Falls at Park Theatre, Twelfth Night and Hamlet at Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre); and Shaun Hennessy as The Emperor (Cinderella at Cast Doncaster, Richard III at Rotherham Underground).
For the first time this year the Coliseum also welcomes professional dancers to the production, including three former members of the Coliseum’s youth chorus returning to the stage that inspired their love of performing. Aladdin’s dancers are: Heléna Ferreria, Molly-Mae France, Abbie Holt and Erin Marshall.
Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s nationally renowned pantomime is usually enjoyed by over 35,000 people each year. In 2020 whilst the theatre was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic the Coliseum presented a package of festive offers for all ages: Panto Digital Storytelling and Panto Storytelling Schools Tour telling the stories of Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk from Cinderella and Dame Dotty Trott’s own perspectives; a series of 24 Advent Plays free to watch on Social Media channels released each day in December, and Messages from the Dame in which Dame Dotty Trott recorded bespoke thank you messages to Oldhamers who had done great things during the pandemic. The Coliseum’s Festive digital offers were viewed over 30,000 times.
Aladdin runs at Oldham Coliseum from Saturday 13 November 2021 – Saturday 8 January 2022.