Panto fans can expect to be dazzled by the Westovians new show Aladdin which kicks off this week.
The Westovian Theatre Society’s annual pantomime aims to bring a sprinkling of magic to banish the ‘January blues’ when it takes to the stage on Friday and runs until Saturday, January 27.
Co-director Gareth Hunter believes the show will go down a treat with families, with singer/songwriter Jen Stevens taking on the lead role and international illusionist Amethyst providing magical effects.
Mr Hunter said: “We have been rehearsing since October and everyone is looking forward to it.
“There are some excellent pantomime stars who have been with us for a number of years and some new faces.
“The cast has a good age range - from nine to those in their 50s - and the show has something for all the family, with panto comedy, lovely dancing and set pieces and magic.”
The pantomime - which is also co-directed by Iain Cunningham and written by Tom Whalley - will tell the story of Abanazar, an evil magician, who has discovered a way to become Master of the Universe but needs a ‘Chosen One’ to retrieve an enchanted oil lamp.
Meanwhile, Aladdin dreams of marrying the beautiful Princess Jasmine.
The audience will find out whether the penniless laundry boy could become the Chosen One and win the Princesses heart.
The cast will feature Stan Hunter as the Genie; Rosie Diaz as Abanazer; Corey Muizelaar as the Emperor; Lori Smedley as Jasmine.
While David Foster will take on the role of Twanky; Katie Reed as Wishee Washee and Holly Chinneck as Slave.
The show will be the last pantomime for Westovians stage stalwart Stan Hunter before he retires to France, after 35 years with the amateur theatre group.
Gareth added: “Stan has been with us for a lot of years and started off doing smaller parts before working his way up to be the panto dame.
“He is a stalwart member of the society and a great guy who we will be a big miss.”
Stan, 58, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, said: “I have been a member for 35 years and did my first shown in 1983.
“My first panto was Dick Whittington in 1984 and I was one of the three men in the chorus that year.
“I worked my way up and had various parts and this will be my last show before I retire from my job as a social worker and move to central France with my wife.”
The show will run at the Pier Pavilion in South Shields with evening performances starting at 7.30pm.
Matinee performances will take place at 2pm on Saturday, January 20, and Saturday, January 27, with shows starting at 11am and 4pm on Sunday, January 21.
Tickets are £9 for adults and £7 for children under 12.
Tickets have sold out for the weekend performances but can still be bought for the mid week shows by visiting: http://www.westovians.co.uk or calling The Word on: 0191 424 7788.