This Christmas, Emmerdale’s Liam Fox will make his professional panto debut as the evil Abanazer, and panto royalty Leanne Campbell will appear digitally as the magical ‘Genie of the Mirror’ as Aladdin flies in to St Helens Theatre Royal.
The show premiered today at the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool City Centre, with a full cast dressed in sumptuous costumes for invited media and photographers.
Regal Entertainments’ spectacular seasonal production will be on stage at the Theatre Royal from Saturday, December 2, to Sunday, January 14, 2024. Tickets are on sale now, but act quickly because this is St Helens’ fastest-selling pantomime ever!
Along with Liam Fox and Leanne Campbell, the panto has a stellar cast that includes Tim Lucas, Warren Donnelly, Lewis Devine, and Richard Aucott from the Theatre Royal. Newcomers Jess Smith and Alex Aram also appear on the show.
Aladdin is directed by Chantelle Nolan, musical direction by Callum Clarke, choreography by Nazene Langfield, and written by Liam Mellor.
This Christmas, take a ride on the all-new 3D interactive flying magic carpet ride and be whisked away to Pantoland, where young street urchin Aladdin lives in their family laundry with his hapless brother Wishee Washee and larger-than-life mother Widow Twankey. Then join our young hero as he battles the evil Abanazer, who has a nefarious plan to rule the world using a very special lamp. Can Aladdin save the day and win the heart of the lovely Princess Jasmine?
Liam Fox is best known for his role as Emmerdale’s Dan Spencer, in which he has appeared in over 1,000 episodes since joining the award-winning ITV soap in 2011.In 1999, the well-known actor, presenter, voice artist, and writer made his professional acting debut on Coronation Street. 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 are among his many other TV credits.
Liam has also appeared in 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.
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, Leanne Campbell, the award-winning Radio City Breakfast Show host, will play a digital Genie who appears as if by magic at each performance, thanks to incredible state-of-the-art audio-visual technology.
Leanne began her acting career at the age of ten, with early roles such as Annie at the Liverpool Playhouse and an award-winning performance as young Helen in the well-known Twopence to Cross the Mersey. She went on to star in many musicals and plays, including Me and My Girl, Carousel, The Sound of Music, and Scrooge. She was also cast in ITV’s Children’s Ward as Pam.
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!”
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. For more information please visit the website here.