Year in, year out, theatres across the capital try to apply a modern twist to the pantomime productions to keep the audiences awake and the kiddies amused. Traditional pantomime is all very well but sometimes the story begs for an upgrade. Cinderella being entered into a world of reality TV, tales of urban regeneration in Jack & The Beanstalk (that huge vegetable must be Grade 2 listed by now) and Snow White & The Seven Lady Dwarfs in Swimwear starring Katherine Jenkins and the cast of Hollyoaks. OK, I made that last one up (thinks: not a bad idea, must remember that one).
The New Wimbledon Theatre has decided to leave their version of Aladdin well alone, instead opting to change the star cast as the Genie every week or so, thus appealing to a wide audience and keeping the whole thing fresh.
Aladdin kicks-off its run on December 4th with the first Genie of the lamp, Ruby Wax. She'll be a laugh until the 12th. Baywatch starlet, Pamela Anderson pops out of the spout from December 13th until 27th, followed by pixie-sized Eastenders' Anita Dobson (wonder if Leslie Grantham was ever known as The Dragon's Den....) from the 28th until the 3rd January before Paul O'Grady gives a Savage rendition of the part from the 5th to the 10th. I think whichever star you fancy seeing being given a good buffing (that's enough - Ed), you are sure of a loud old time because (ahem) BRIAN BLESSED stars in the whole run from start to finish. Oh yes he does.....
Tickets start at £24 and are available now. As a reminder, the panto runs from December 4th to January 10th.