AFTER last year’s runaway success with their first professional production the Kenton Theatre is putting on another panto this Christmas, writes Jon Ryan.
It may only be September but tickets are already on sale for Aladdin which opens on December 19. Casting has now been completed and it means a return to Henley for the two stars who charmed audiences in last year’s Cinderella — James Clifford who played Buttons returns in the title role while Cinders, Rochelle Parry, is the Genie of the Lamp.
Director Heather Simpkin said: “I am thrilled that James and Rochelle are back with us and we have got a great team together. Like last year the key is tradition and allowing for the cast and audience to have as much fun as possible. It is a family show for everyone from grandparents to small children to enjoy together in what is a wonderfully intimate theatre where no one is too far from the action.”
One special name in the cast is that of actor Philip Anthony who is playing the Emperor — a rare chance for the audience to enjoy the talents of a man who has worked with both Laurence Olivier and Orson Welles.
Kenton managing director Wendy Bowsher said: “Aladdin is a tremendous panto to follow Cinderella and I hope that all those who came last year have got the theatre bug and will want to come back. Last year showed that we can put on a professional show that is as good as anything around.”
Aladdin runs from December 19 to 28 and there are 13 performances with none beginning later than 5.30pm. There are also two 11am shows aimed at parents with younger children.
Once again the front row is up-for-grabs as a sponsorship package with a range of extras and the chance to become part of the on-stage action on the night.
Mrs Bowsher added: “It proved very popular last year and enables companies or groups of friends to become a real part of the panto.”
* For tickets go to www.kentontheatre.co.uk, call (01491) 575698 or visit the box office 11am to 3pm Monday to Friday and Saturday from 10am to 3pm.