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The show is on... oh yes it is! Rehearsals for Aladdin ramping up

Some of the cast during a rehearsal of the Theatre Royal's panto Aladdin, from left, Steven Roberts as Aladdin; Rik Makarem as Abanazar; Ben Langley as Wishee Washee; Richard Gauntlett as Widow Twankey; and Alexander Delamere as the Emperor. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Some of the cast during a rehearsal of the Theatre Royal's panto Aladdin, from left, Steven Roberts as Aladdin; Rik Makarem as Abanazar; Ben Langley as Wishee Washee; Richard Gauntlett as Widow Twankey; and Alexander Delamere as the Emperor. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

The countdown to this year’s Norwich pantomime is on as its cast take their first steps on the boards.

Rehearsals are in full swing for the production of Aladdin, which will open at the Theatre Royal on Wednesday, December 12.

Among the cast are former Emmerdale and Casualty star Rik Makarem, who plays bad guy Abanazar. He said: “There is a lot of colour in the script and the performance. We are just so excited and we want to start performing it on stage already.”

The dancers during a rehearsal of the Theatre Royal's panto Aladdin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe dancers during a rehearsal of the Theatre Royal's panto Aladdin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

READ MORE: Win top toys and panto tickets in Theatre Royal competition

He stars opposite former Hollyoaks actor Steven Roberts, who visited the Theatre Royal frequently as a child and has family links to East Anglia.

The dancers during a rehearsal of the Theatre Royal's panto Aladdin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe dancers during a rehearsal of the Theatre Royal's panto Aladdin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He said: “Aladdin is not the typical strapping hunk. He is not very cool and a bit of an underdog which puts a different spin on it.”

Mr Roberts was also full of praise for the panto babes, who are all drawn from the Norwich-based Central School of Dancing and Performing Arts.

Rik Makarem as Abanazar, during a rehearsal of the Theatre Royal's panto Aladdin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRik Makarem as Abanazar, during a rehearsal of the Theatre Royal's panto Aladdin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Aladdin runs at the Theatre Royal from December 12 until January 13. To book, go to www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.

READ MORE: Meet the woman behind the costumes in Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal

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