Hollyoaks star Gary Lucy set to cast a spell in Aladdin pantomime at Sunderland Empire

Hollyoaks star Gary Lucy is set to cast a spell over panto audiences in Sunderland this Christmas.

It’s been announced that the actor, who is well known for his roles in Hollyoaks, The Bill, Casualty and Footballers’ Wives, will be starring as panto baddie Abanazer in Aladdin when the classic panto flies into Sunderland Empire from December 9, 2022 – Mondya, January 2, 2023.

Known best for playing Luke Morgan in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, Danny Pennant in Eastenders and PC Will Fletcher in The Bill, Gary is no stranger to soap opera drama.

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Other notable credits include Footballers' Wives, Casualty and The Dumping Ground. The actor last visited Sunderland in the UK tour of The Full Monty.

Gary Lucy, centre, will join the cast of Aladdin

Gary will be joining the previously-announced North East Queen of Comedy, Miss Rory, back for a third year running as the glamorous and razor sharp witty Widow Twankey.

Miss Rory will be joined by her sidekick, South Shields comic Tom Whalley, who’s become a favourite slapstick panto jester at the venue.

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Gary Lucy will be replacing Michael Wildman in the role due to unforeseen circumstances.

The panto is set to be a highlight of the festive period and is one of many big shows heading to the Empire.

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Meanwhile, blockbuster Les Misérables will make its Sunderland debut next month.

:: Aladdin will cast its magical spell on Sunderland Empire’s stage from Friday 9 December 2022 – Monday 2 January 2023. Tickets are available now from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 7615 or online at www.ATGtickets.com/sunderland