Lostock Hall theatre group spreading panto magic on classic tale of Aladdin

Mark Couperthwaite is playing the wise-cracking Genie.
Mark Couperthwaite is playing the wise-cracking Genie.

Prepare for a magical evening of pantomime as a Lostock Hall theatre group opens the curtains on Aladdin tonight.

Expect all the traditional thrills and spills of panto as St James' Players brings this fabulous family show to town. Seats are still available for the 7-30pm performances taking place tonight, tomorrow and on Saturday at St James' Church in Avondale Drive.

Director Philip-James Tomlinson, who also plays the dame, said: "I had wanted to do Aladdin the pantomime for a while. It was the first walk-on role I ever got as a child playing the mummy at the end. So to come back to my childhood group and direct a show that has always stayed in my memory was a dream come true.

"When the producer handed me the script and asked if I would do it, I couldn’t resist turning the pages. This version was hilarious. I had it all read in a couple of hours and was signing my name on the dotted line. It had me in stitches - and still does."

Aladdin is a poor street urchin whose life is suddenly transformed when he stumbles upon a magical oil lamp that unleashes a powerful genie.

Commenting on what drew him to the tale, the director said: "I love what most people love, the story of rags to riches and a hero that comes good, not by the strength of his arm, but by the strength of his heart. Of course there is the magic and comedy to come with it. Aladdin has always been one of my childhood favourites."

Audiences can expect a truly magical night out, according to Philip, as well as: "Some fantastic songs and dances, amazing costumes and most of all full belly laughs!"

Box office: 0843 557 9123.