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Christopher Biggins and cast gather to launch Bromley's Aladdin panto

PUBLISHED: 16:14 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:55 10 October 2019

Max Fulham, Christopher Biggins, Rikki Jay and Yazdan Qafouri get together to cut the launch cake. Picture: Kate Darkins

Max Fulham, Christopher Biggins, Rikki Jay and Yazdan Qafouri get together to cut the launch cake. Picture: Kate Darkins

KATE DARKINS

The cast of Aladdin flew into Bromley to launch this year's panto.

It will run at the Churchill Theatre between December 7 and January 5.

Alongside Christopher Biggins, who will play the role of Widow Twankey, is Rikki Jay, Max Fulham and Yazdan Qafouri who will play Wishee, Washee and Aladdin respectively.

A mainstay of entertainment for a number of decades, Christopher Biggins made his pantomime debut aged just 17 in his home town of Salisbury before forging a highly successful career in show business.

Best known for his numerous iconic television appearances, Biggins appeared opposite the late Ronnie Barker in Porridge, held roles in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, appeared alongside Michael Crawford in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em and played Nero in the critically acclaimed dramatisation of I, Claudius.

Rikki Jay regularly performs at major venues around Britain, including shows in the West End at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the London Palladium and the Café Royal. Over Christmas Rikki has played the principal comedian in a variety of family pantomimes across the UK.

For eight years he starred in and co-wrote the pantomime for the Theatre Royal in Norwich, and he returned there to perform his one man show Bare Faced Cheek.

Chris Glover, theatre director, said: "Aladdin has proved to be hugely popular with our audiences, with 20,000 tickets already sold and some performances already selling out. We're looking forward to welcoming lots of families through our doors for what is set to be an incredible pantomime this Christmas."

Aladdin is produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world's largest pantomime producer with 719 productions over the past 36 years to its credit. The company now produces annually at 35 theatres throughout the UK.

Alongside successful regional pantomimes, in 2016, after an absence of 30 years, Qdos Entertainment returned pantomime to the London Palladium, with a star-studded production of Cinderella.

Qdos' 2017 production of Dick Whittington won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and Family show, and its 2018 production of Snow White established a new box office record for the London Palladium.

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