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We meet the cast of Aladdin as the show prepares to fly into St Helens Theatre Royal this festive season

9 months ago

Aladdin flies into St Helens Theatre Royal this Christmas with Emmerdale’s Liam Fox making his professional panto debut as the evil Abanazer, and panto royalty Leanne Campbell will appear digitally as the magical ‘Genie of the Mirror’.

The St Helens Theatre Royal show was officially launched today at the Hilton Hotel, Liverpool City Centre with full cast in sumptuous costume for invited media and photographers. 

The spectacular seasonal production from Regal Entertainments comes to the Theatre Royal stage from Saturday 2 December to Sunday 14 January 2024. Tickets are on sale now and be quick, it’s officially St Helens fastest selling panto ever!

As well Liam Fox and Leanne Campbell, the panto has a stellar cast, which includes Theatre Royal favourites, Tim Lucas, Warren Donnelly, Lewis Devine and Richard Aucott, the show also stars newcomers Jess Smith and Alex Aram.

St Helens Theatre Royal
Credit: David Munn

Aladdin is directed by Chantelle Nolan, musical direction by Callum Clarke, choreography by Nazene Langfield and written by Liam Mellor.

Take a ride on the all-new 3D interactive flying magic carpet ride this Christmas and be whisked off to pantoland where young street urchin Aladdin lives with his hapless brother Wishee Washee and larger-than-life mum Widow Twankey in their family laundry.  Then join our young hero as he battles the wicked Abanazer who has a dastardly plan to rule the world with the help of one very special lamp. Can Aladdin save the day – and can he also win the heart of the fair Princess Jasmine?

Liam Fox is best known for playing Emmerdale’s Dan Spencer and has appeared in more than 1,000 episodes since he joined the award-winning ITV soap in 2011.The popular actor, presenter, voice artist and writer made his professional acting debut in Coronation Street in 1999. His many other TV credits include Dinnerladies, Cold Feet, Clocking Off, Hollyoaks, The Case (Lime Pictures), Our Great Yorkshire Life, Fat Friends, Casualty 1909, and Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing on the Edge.

Liam has also appeared on stage in productions including The Collector and Tuesday’s Class at the Lowry Studio, Iron (directed by Noreen Kershaw) at Manchester Royal Exchange, The Dumb Waiter for Three Ducks Theatre Company, and Cornered for Rocket Theatre Company.

St Helens Theatre Royal
Liam Fox in Aladdin Panto Press Call (Credit David Munn Photography)

Liam Fox said: 

“I cannot wait for the panto to begin… I’ve heard nothing but brilliant things about everyone associated with St Helens Theatre Royal so I’m very excited to get going… it’s been over 30 years since I last did a pantomime and over 12 years since I was last on stage, so I’m a tad nervous but raring to go… the script is fabulous so hopefully we can give the people of St Helens plenty of festive fun…”

Meanwhile actress and award-winning Radio City Breakfast Show host Leanne Campbell will play a digital Genie who appears as if by magic at every performance thanks to amazing state-of-the-art audio-visual technology.

Leanne started her acting career at the age of 10, with early roles including Annie at the Liverpool Playhouse and an award-winning performance as young Helen in the much-loved Twopence to Cross the Mersey. She went on to play many leading roles in musicals and plays including Me and My Girl, Carousel, The Sound of Music and Scrooge. She was also cast as Pam in ITV’s Children’s Ward.

In 2020 she wrote and starred in the successful comedy play Pete Price is Dead at Liverpool’s Royal Court, other recent productions include The Salon and Achy Breaky Bride. Her many high-profile panto appearances include five years at the Liverpool Empire and six consecutive years at the city’s M&S Bank arena.

St Helens Theatre Royal
Liam Fox and Leanne Campbell in Aladdin (Credit David Munn Photography)

Theatre Manager and panto director, Chantelle Nolan says: 

“Aladdin is officially our fastest selling panto ever and we’re absolutely thrilled to be working with such talented performers on this festive season’s unmissable production.

“Liam Fox is making his professional pantomime debut, I know he’s going to be fantastic as a panto villain, while Leanne is panto royalty and will bring plenty of magical sparkle to our state-of-the-art genie. We also have an incredible supporting cast of your favourite St Helens panto stars.

“Aladdin is a fantastic adventure story of good triumphing over evil, and it’s a real favourite with the family audiences at St Helens Theatre Royal.

“As always, I can guarantee gorgeous sets, dazzling costumes, plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and a soundtrack that will have you dancing in your seat and singing along. Roll on Christmas!”

St Helens Theatre Royal

NOTE: Leanne Campbell will appear as the Genie of the Mirror by the power of video projection and does not appear in person.

Tickets can be booked over the phone or in person at the box office between 10am and 5pm, from Monday to Saturday. Tickets can also be purchased online. 

To book tickets, visit the St Helens Theatre Royal website here.

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