The cast of Northern Ireland’s biggest Christmas show brought some early panto magic to Belfast when May McFettridge, Faye Tozer, Jayne Wisener, Paddy Jenkins and Aaron Hayes Rogers officially launched Aladdin, this year’s Grand Opera House pantomime.
The undisputed queen of Northern Ireland panto, May McFettridge, will celebrate twenty-five years in the Grand Opera House Christmas show as she leads the cast of Aladdin in the role of Widow May Twankey. During the last quarter of a century – just under 2,000 pantomime performances – May has played a range of colourful characters from Mother Goose, Fairy Godmother, Dame May Trot, to Nurse May!
Faye Tozer, who will play the role of Scheherazade in Aladdin, is best known as being one-fifth of the internationally-successful pop phenomenon Steps. Upon leaving Steps Faye set about carving out a career in musical theatre and has appeared in the West End as well as touring shows including Tell Me On A Sunday, Love Shack, Over The Rainbow: the Eva Cassidy Story, Me and My Girl, and most recently in the hit musical Singin’ In The Rain.
Joining May and Faye on stage is another Grand Opera House stalwart Paddy Jenkins in the role of The Emperor, Jane Wisener plays Princess Jasmine, and Aaron Hayes Rogers plays Aladdin.
Packed with all of the traditional Grand Opera House pantomime ingredients of comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes, plenty of boos and hisses and an Aladdin’s cave full of surprises, including an amazing flying carpet, the show is produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s largest pantomime producer.
Jonathan Kiley, executive producer and director of Aladdin, said:
“We are thrilled that May, who has become a firm feature in Northern Ireland’s biggest pantomime, will lead the cast of Aladdin in this very special 25th anniversary year for her. A superstar in her own right panto audiences can’t get enough of her quick quips and hilarious one-liners. If you ask your genie for just one thing this year, make it a trip to see Aladdin!”
Mary-Clare Deane, Chief Executive of the Grand Opera House, said:
“The Grand Opera House is incredibly proud of John and this amazing milestone. He has become synonymous with panto in Belfast and still, after 25 years, he gets the biggest reaction of all the cast when he appears on stage! Here’s to many more years to come!!”
Qdos Entertainment and the Grand Opera House have also announced a specially adapted and relaxed performance for theatre-goers with a wide range of disabilities and for those on the autistic spectrum. Details of this performance on Tuesday 13 January at 1.30pm can be found on www.goh.co.uk.
Aladdin runs at the Grand Opera House from Saturday 29 November 2014 to Sunday 18 January 2015. Tickets start from only £16.00 and can be booked on 9024 1919 or online at www.goh.co.uk