Panto changes to Aladdin - but Chegwin's still star of the show

Swindon Advertiser: Peter Chegwin is to star in the panto Aladdin Peter Chegwin is to star in the panto Aladdin

MAGIC beans have been swapped for a flying carpet after the curtains were closed on this year’s panto.

The Wyvern Theatre has changed its Christmas pantomime from Jack and the Beanstalk to Aladdin for 2012.

And although the show itself may have changed, the star will remain the same, as Keith Chegwin takes to the stage as Wishy Washee following his highly-praised performance in Cinderella last year.

The announcement came after a meeting with providers revealed that in order to get the costumes and sets they wanted, the show would have to be postponed until 2013 to avoid audiences feeling disappointed with a poorer quality of show than they have come to expect from the Wyvern in recent years.

Theatre director Derek Aldridge said despite already selling more than 5,000 tickets for the previously announced Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime, not one person had asked for a refund following the change of show.

He said: “Our decision to change title has been a difficult one.

“We discussed with our set and costume providers and to do the production of Jack and the Beanstalk we want to do, it makes both commercial and artistic sense to postpone it until Christmas 2013-14 “We had hoped we would be able to achieve it by December 2012 but we’d rather postpone than compromise on quality.

“We know that our production of Aladdin is going to be a real treat for audiences. It is packed with special effects which will look stunning in our intimate auditorium – including a magical flying carpet.

“I am pleased to say that when we have written to the customers who had bought tickets for Jack and the Beanstalk, not a single one has requested a refund, and actually, they all seem enthusiastic to see another top-quality Wyvern pantomime.

“I would like to thank the amazing Wyvern audiences for their loyalty and support for Swindon’s pantomime and look forward to presenting our brand new production of Aladdin.

“It is such a privilege for the Wyvern to be part of so many families’ Christmas celebrations and this year will be better than ever.”

Producer Daryl Back said: “I’m thrilled to bring a brand spanking new production of Aladdin to the Wyvern following the phenomenal success of Cinderella last Christmas.”

Aladdin will run from December 8 to January 6. To book tickets visit www.wyverntheatre.org.uk or call the ticket office on 01793 524481.

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