Large-scale panto to return to Leicester after 19 years

Published: 15 December 2012
Reporter: Steve Orme

Aladdin at De Montfort Hall

De Montfort Hall has revealed that it will be staging Aladdin next Christmas—the first time Leicester has hosted a large-scale panto since 1994.

It will be a co-production between De Montfort and Coventry-based Imagine Theatre.

Aladdin will be written and created by Leicester-born Susie McKenna, creative director at Hackney Empire.

Imagine’s creative director Iain Lauchlan, the man behind BBC children’s shows including The Tweenies, will also work on the show.

Antony Flint, De Montfort’s general manager, said, “I’m really pleased to be able to bring a large-scale panto back to the city.

“I’m a huge fan of panto and want to recreate the tradition of families coming to see the De Montfort Hall panto as an intrinsic part of their Christmas celebrations.

“With 2013 marking the our centenary year it also seems the perfect time for panto to make a return, and knowing Imagine Theatre’s and Susie McKenna’s work as I do, I have no doubt that the people of the city and county are in for a real treat next Christmas.”

Steve Boden, managing director of Imagine Theatre, added, “I’m delighted to be working with De Montfort Hall on Aladdin and we’re all really looking forward to playing our part in making the annual panto a core part of this prestigious venue’s programme once more.”

Aladdin will run from Saturday 14 December until Sunday 5 January 2014.

Casting is expected to be announced early next year.