The cast for the 2019 pantomime at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall has been announced.
Produced by Imagine Theatre, this year’s show will be Aladdin.
Aladdin has become one of the most popular pantomimes in the UK thanks to its magical story of a young boy who chances upon a wish-granting genie.
X Factor winner Sam Bailey will return for her fourth year, this time playing So Shi.
Joining her will be Blue star Antony Costa as the wicked magician Abanazar, Milkshake presenter Nathan Connor as the Genie of the Lamp and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Paul Burling as Wishee Washee.
The cast also includes magicians Matthew Pomeroy and Natasha Lamb as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, with BBC Radio Leicester’s Martin Ballard as Widow Twankey.
Bailey said: “There’s just something about panto isn’t there? Families and friends, young and old all coming together for one afternoon, or evening, of comedy gold.
“And, for me there is something extra special about panto at De Montfort Hall. I am very lucky that my career takes me all over the world, but nothing quite beats performing in your hometown which is why I am delighted to be taking to the stage at De Montfort Hall once again.
“The venue is magical at Christmas and performing in front of fellow Leicestershire people is one of my most favourite parts.”
Costa added: “I’m thrilled to be playing Abanazar in Aladdin at De Montfort Hall. The audiences have always been amazing in Leicester so I can’t wait to have a great Christmas playing the baddie!”
Antony Flint, De Montfort Hall general manager, said: “We are thrilled to have Sam and Martin back on board after proving themselves to be pantomime favourites. Antony, Nathan and Paul will further enhance this remarkable cast.
“Panto is now firmly in the festive calendar for our audiences – and this year will be bigger and better than ever.”
Aladdin plays at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall Theatre between Saturday 14 December 2019 until Sunday 5 January 2020.
You can purchase tickets online from £15 at the theatre box office