Curtain up for Aladdin at Bristol Hippodrome tonight
The Bristol Hippodrome will today welcome Loose Women star Carol McGiffin and street dance sensation Flawless to the stage, for the opening of Christmas pantomime Aladdin.
The show, which will run from December 7 to January 6, 2013, will take spectators on a carpet ride to the Far East.
Carol McGiffin will share the role of Genie of the Lamp with Big Brother winner Josie Gibson, while Flawless will appear as the Peking Police Squad.
And there’ll be guaranteed belly laughs thanks to panto favourite Andy Ford, who returns to the Hippodrome stage for his fourth consecutive year.
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Flawless soared to fame after competing in the third series of Britain’s Got Talent, where they wowed both audiences and judges alike.
They have since starred the StreetDance films and most recently headlined alongside Kylie Minogue at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert. Aladdin marks their pantomime debut.
Kevin Wood, chief executive of pantomime producers First Family Entertainment, said: “We are thrilled to have secured Flawless to join the cast of Aladdin and look forward to them adding a modern twist to our traditional family pantomime.
“Casting for a venue as important as Bristol can often be a long process, and we have worked extremely hard in securing the boys to give South West audiences the best show ever”.
Aladdin is the latest in a long line of Christmas pantomimes held at Bristol’s West End theatre – last year David Hasselhoff appeared in Peter Pan, while in 2010 ex-EastEnders and Carry On star Barbara Windsor starred in Dick Whittington.
Aladdin will also round off a successful year for the venue. Celebrating its centenary, the Hippodrome hosted GREASE The Musical, Calendar Girls and Phantom of the Opera.
Its latest show - Disney's The Lion King - injected more than £6 million into the city’s economy after 88 performances in front of a total of 165,000 people.
The stars of Aladdin have taken social networking site Twitter to discuss their rehearsals. On Tuesday Flawless @flawlessUK wrote: “Tech rehearsal time for Aladdin. Lets gooo!!!!”
And they yesterday tweeted: “Morning world at the hippodrome theatre in BRISTOL rehearsing for opening night on Friday!!!”
Meanwhile Andy Ford @andyfordcomic wrote on Monday: “Returning to the Hippodrome is like coming home for Christmas”.
Last night he tweeted: “Very tired but great day @BristolHipp opening aladdin 2morrow. Bring it on”.
Tickets for Aladdin range from £10 to £35, and concessions are available on a number of performances.
Genie of the Lamp will be played by Carol McGiffin from December 7 to 17 (inclusive), and Josie Gibson from December 19 to the end of the run on January 6, 2013.
Book tickets at www.atgtickets.com or telephone 0844 871 3012. Groups of 10 or more should call 0844 871 3032 between Monday and Friday.
Alternatively, tickets can be booked in person at the box office at The Bristol Hippodrome, St Augustines Parade, Bristol, BS1 4UZ.