Pantomime is back at long last, and this festive tradition is bigger than ever with songstress Alexandra Burke at the helm of Aladdin.
The former X-Factor star and chart-topping sensation stars as Scherezade in the show, which is at the Opera House theatre until the new year.
While she dazzles as the Spirit of the Ring, she slips back into her stage-stomping ways on a few occasions and treats us to live performances of her massive hits, including Hallelujah and Bad Boys.
The show follows the classic Aladdin tale of a loveable thief who falls in love with a princess, but with added top-tier panto laughs.
There are brilliant performances across the board, a highlight of which is Wishee Washee, played by Ben Nickless.
It’s his 17th year in panto, and it shows.
No one can entice the belly laughs quite like Nick, delivering jokes that tickle audience members of all ages – proven by my delighted theatre companions, aged 78 and 15.
There’s magic, too, with flying carpets and giant snakes, and lively dancing led by former Strictly Come Dancing star Alexandra.
This year’s panto felt more magical than ever after a year without it, and both audience and actors seem thrilled to be back in the theatres.
Aladdin runs at the Opera House theatre until January 2. You can get tickets here.
Featured image: Phil Tragen 2021