Curtain rises on Bath’s magical pantomime as star of Emmerdale and Coronation Street BILL WARD, CBBC’s MARK RHODES, panto favourite JON MONIE and dazzling Dame NICK WILTON take centre stage
This Christmas, the Theatre Royal Bath and UK Productions present the enchanting family pantomime Aladdin, a truly traditional show starring award-winning actor Bill Ward, well-known for his long-running roles in ITV’s Emmerdale and Coronation Street, award-winning Children’s television presenter Mark Rhodes, Bath’s own Jon Monie, Dame extraordinaire Nick Wilton, and Gemma Naylor from Nick Jr’s Children’s musical show Go!Go!Go!
The thrilling story of a boy, a lamp and a genie, Aladdin is one of the most popular pantomimes of all. Audiences can look forward to a fun-packed performance full of comedy, slapstick, singing, dancing, dazzling special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of participation. Guaranteed to entertain both the young and the young at heart, Aladdin appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Thursday 8th December to Sunday 8th January.
British Soap Award winner Bill Ward stars as the wicked magician, Abanazar. No stranger to playing Mr Nasty, Bill is well-known as baddie builder, Charlie Stubbs, in Coronation Street, a role he played in over 250 episodes from 2003-2007, and, most recently, as James Barton in Emmerdale, a role he played since 2013. After 324 episodes, Bill made a dramatic exit from the prime-time drama series Emmerdale this October in one of Soap’s biggest storylines of the year. Bill’s screen credits also include Silent Witness, Doctors, Heartbeat, The Bill and Jonathan Creek. On stage, he has performed in the West End and in repertory for Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange, Theatre Clwyd and Northern Stage. He has previously played Abanazar in a record-breaking panto in 2006.
The title role of Aladdin will be played by Mark Rhodes, winner of the 2015 BAFTA Children’s Presenter Award as half of Sam & Mark, whose programmes include the hugely popular Junior Bake Off, CBBC’s Big Friday Wind-Up and family gameshow, Copycats. The duo has also presented Sport Relief Does Glee Club, TMi and Level Up. They produced children’s reality series, Who Wants to Be a Superhero? and Sam and Mark’s Guide to Dodging Disaster. Together Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes have written two children’s books The Adventures of Long Arm in 2015 and Long Arm Vs The Evil Supply Teacher, published this year. Mark was a runner-up in Pop Idol, and has also appeared on Celebrity Wipeout and Dancing on Ice.
Much-loved and award-winning comedian Jon Monie returns by popular demand to play Wishee Washee, marking his 15th pantomime at the Theatre Royal. Jon has presented numerous programmes for both ITV and BBC. His critically acclaimed comic roles in more than 900 stage performances since 1996 have delighted audiences in Bath. Most recently, Jon played Simon Trott in Jack and the Beanstalk in 2015 and Buttons in Cinderella in 2014.
Appearing as Widow Twankey is award-winning Nick Wilton, who has played Dame in theatres nationwide since 2000. On television, he has played Market Inspector Mr Lister in EastEnders since 2008. His screen credits also include three years in the BAFTA Award-winning series Carrott’s Lib, and performances in Heartbeat, The Bill and Doc Martin. Nick has also written and performed in many shows for children’s television, including Mr Seagrove in Big Meg, Little Meg. In 1982, Nick won the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Writers Inc. On stage, he has performed in the West End and regionally. Nick makes a welcome return to the Theatre Royal after playing Dame Trott last Christmas in Jack and the Beanstalk.
Princess Jasmine is played by Gemma Naylor, best known for her work as a Children’s television presenter on Go!Go!Go! and Bedtime Story for Nick Jr’s. Gemma has also appeared on Blue Peter and her stage credits include the musicals Shout!, Jackie: The Musical and White Christmas.
Tom Whalley plays PC Pong. On television, he appeared in the BBC3 series Shoplife. On stage, Tom performed as Dame Trott in Jack and the Beanstalk on UK tour and as PC Pong in Aladdin at the Sunderland Empire. He has also toured the UK in Looking for Oz, played Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar at Durham Cathedral and appeared as Banquo in Macbeth at the People’s Theatre.
Loula Geater, who appears as Slave of the Ring, has recently toured the UK with Ruthie Henshall and Jane McDonald in That’s Entertainment. Her stage credits also include Sweeney Todd with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Symphony Hall and the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
Glyn Dilley plays the Emperor. His stage work includes 21 previous pantomimes both abroad and in the UK, and numerous Shakespearean roles. Most recently, he appeared in the film Crowhurst. Michael McGinn who plays Genie of the Lamp, is also part of the Ensemble joined by Jack Osmond, Molly Griffin, Ellie Irish, Sophie Smith and Lily Edwards.
Once again the Theatre Royal welcomes back the talented young dancers from Bath’s Dorothy Coleborn School of Dance, who have supplied the Babes for numerous highly acclaimed pantomime performances.
One of the best-loved family Christmas shows, Aladdin was the first pantomime to establish itself on the English stage, with its host of colourful characters including the wicked Abanazar, Aladdin, Wishee Washee, the Slave of the Ring, the comedy Policeman and the most famous of all pantomime dames, Widow Twankey. The Oriental setting, with the exotic East, the mystical world of genies, treasure and magic lamps and the escapades of Aladdin and Widow Twankey have kept audiences spellbound for generations.
Join in the fun this Christmas and visit the Theatre Royal Bath for a truly spectacular festive treat for the whole family to enjoy.
ALADDIN will appear at the Theatre Royal Bath from Thursday 8th December to Sunday 8th January. To book tickets contact the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or visit www.theatreroyal.org.uk
The Theatre Royal Bath is delighted to welcome back the BATH CHRONICLE as Theatre Sponsor, and is grateful for
their continued support. Goody Bags are sponsored by Moore Stephens