Pantomime returns to Weston...oh yes it does!

PUBLISHED: 08:30 09 September 2017 | UPDATED: 07:31 12 September 2017

The cast at the launch, including John Altman, who is playing Abanazar.

The cast at the launch, including John Altman, who is playing Abanazar.

Andrew Thompson Photography

It may only be September but Weston's theatre is already getting in the festive spirit, as it held its pantomime launch this week to celebrate its December run of Aladdin.

Daniel Slade is playing Aladdin. Pictures: Andrew ThompsonDaniel Slade is playing Aladdin. Pictures: Andrew Thompson

John Altman – most famous for his portrayal of ‘nasty Nick’ in popular soap Eastenders – will take on the role of Abanazar in his first ever visit to Weston.

He told the Mercury he has always driven past this seaside town on the M5 but has never had the pleasure of visiting.

He added: “I always thought when I went past Weston, I really want to go there.

“And so far from what I have seen, I really like it. So, it will be nice to be here for an extended amount of time.”

The cast performed for The Friends Of The Playhouse.The cast performed for The Friends Of The Playhouse.

This is John Altman’s 32nd pantomime, so the actor is no stranger to the stage.

Having been famed for his nasty ways on Eastenders, he says he likes playing the villain and will ‘give the people what they want’ by including some soap-related jokes.

He said: “There will probably be points where I call someone Dot, and that is fine – it is what people want.

“I love pantomime and it is much more lively than doing television.

Rebecca Hazell is taking on the role of Princess Jasmine.Rebecca Hazell is taking on the role of Princess Jasmine.

“It is nice to follow the story from start to finish, unlike in television where you do scenes in different orders.”

John and a number of the cast took to the Playhouse stage on Tuesday to give invited guests from The Friends Of The Playhouse a sneak preview of what they can expect in December.

Mike Goble, who is playing Wishee Washee and directing the pantomime, introduced the show and performed a sketch the cast had rehearsed that morning.

John said it was nice to perform at The Playhouse, as often introductions like this are just talking.

He said: “I think this is the first time I have got up and performed on launch day.

“It was really nice to get a feel for it, and have some of the cast together. It seems like a while to go, but it will soon come around and I cannot wait for the run to get started.”

Aladdin will be at The Playhouse, in High Street, from December 9-31, with varying performance times.

Tickets, priced £11.75-£21.95 are available by calling 01934 645544 or online via www.theplayhouse.co.uk

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