XMAS COUNTDOWN: It’s showtime!

Keith Chegwin is the star of the show in Aladdin at the Wyvern

Keith Chegwin is the star of the show in Aladdin at the Wyvern

First published in Christmas 2012

TV legend Keith Chegwin returns to our very own Wyvern Theatre this Christmas, in another hilarious and spectacular family pantomime, Aladdin.

Aladdin is packed with all the traditional panto ingredients – side-splitting comedy, stunning sets, beautiful costumes and a fantastic cast, including Suzie Chard as the Genie of the Lamp.

Suzie joins the panto straight from the UK tour of Oliver!

Running from December 8 to January 6, tickets cost from £14.50 to £23. Family tickets are £68. To book tickets go to www.wyverntheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01793 524481.

The New Theatre at Oxford skips the traditional panto this year, in favour of the action-packed musical Starlight Express. Light years ahead of the rest, Bill Kenwright’s Starlight is a futuristic tale about love and hope in the face of adversity, and promises to take you on the ride of a lifetime – with two hours of speed, spectacle, energy and turbo charged excitement, combined with an electrifying soundtrack, dazzling sets and costumes, extraordinary roller-choreography and some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most memorable musical hits. Tickets cost from £19.50 to £45, and the show runs from December 11 to 29. Go to www.atgtickets. com/venues/new-theatre-oxford/ to book.

Down the M4 in Reading, CBeebies superstar Justin Fletcher returns to the Hexagon Theatre for Beauty and the Beast, joined by Vicki Michelle, better known as Yvette from ‘Allo ‘Allo.

Beauty and The Beast is, of course, the spell-binding story of a prince, who is cursed and destined to spend the rest of his life hidden in his castle in the guise of a grotesque beast. Resourceful Beauty rushes to the rescue, but can she learn to love the beast? Beauty and the Beast runs from December 8 to January 6 and tickets start from £18. Go to www.readingarts.com/ thehexagon to book.

Olivier Award-winning theatre and TV star Nichola McAuliffe takes centre stage at the Theatre Royal in Bath in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This year’s cast will feature seven small actors playing the roles of Snow White’s friends and protectors. The time-honoured panto runs from December 13 to January 13 and tickets are priced from £16 to £27.50.

Take a magical carpet ride to the Far East in the spectacular family pantomime Aladdin, at the Bristol Hippodrome from December 7 to January 6. Starring street dance sensations Flawess as the Peking Police Squad,and with the role of the magical Genie of the Lamp shared by are Loose Women star Carol McGiffin and Bristol favourite and Big Brother winner Josie Gibson, the show is packed full of famous faces.

Carol will play the Genie December 7 to 17 inclusive, while and Josie will play the role from December 19 to January 6. Flawless will not be appearing on Dec 12&13. Tickets are from £10 to £34 at www.atgtickets.com/shows/aladdin/bristol-hippodrome/

Last but not least, head to the Salisbury Playhouse from December 5 to January 5 for a production of Sleeping Beauty With catchy songs, beautiful sets and costumes, and lots of audience participation, it’s the perfect treat for all the family this Christmas. Tickets from £12 at www.salisburyplay house.com/

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