First Look: Production images of Aladdin, Hackney Empire’s 20th anniversary pantomime

They’re here – oh yes they are! Hackney Empire today released production images for Aladdin, its landmark 20th anniversary Christmas pantomime from writer and director Susie McKenna and composer Steven Edis. The celebratory production runs at Hackney Empire until 6 January 2019, with opening night for press taking place this evening.

Aladdin stars Olivier Award-winning Grande Dame of pantomime Clive Rowe making his Hackney comeback in the role of Widow Twankey to mark his 12th panto with the venue. Olivier Award nominated actress, television star and comedian Tameka Empson (EastEnders) also returns to play The Empress in her sixth Empire panto and following her last stage appearance 9 years ago. They are joined by Gemma Sutton (Gypsy, The Rink)in the title role, Julie Yammanee (Spamilton, Here Lies Love) as Princess Ling Mai and Empire regular Kat B as Genie of the Lamp.

The full cast includes Empire stalwarts Tony Timberlake as Abanazar and Tony Whittle as Sergeant Dumplin’, Natasha Lewis as Genie of the Ring,Alim Jayda as Dishi, Michael Lin as Constable Ackee and Ollie Corbett, Jonathan NormanSaori Oda, Jacqui Sanchez, Monica Swayne andDale White in the ensemble. The production also features Sharon D Clarke as the voice of Gaia, The Goddess of Light.

Aladdin is once again written and directed by Susie McKenna with original music by Steven Edis, bringing a glittering show packed with magical fun, song, dance, slapstick comedy and audience participation for all the family. Susie McKenna and Steven Edis mark two decades at the helm of the now legendary Hackney Empire panto which has grown to become an annual highlight and a champion for culture and community in the East End.

In the Far East End, on the island kingdom of Ha Ka Ney, young Aladdin dreams of finding love and making his fortune. When he discovers an enchanted lamp and meets a mysterious genie, it looks like all his wishes are about to come true – with the help of tap-dancing pandas and his larger-than-life mum, can he win the hand of his Princess or will an evil magician, some madcapped policemen and a very large pile of laundry stand in his way?

Aladdin has Production Design by Lotte Collett, Musical Direction by Mark Dickman, Choreography by Richard Roe, Lighting Design by David Howe, Sound Design by Daniel Higgott, Assistant Direction by Matt Dempsey and Creature Design by Scott Brooker.