Get ready to be whisked away on a roller-coaster ride of magic, music, mirth and mayhem – Wembley Theatre Company is staging the pantomime Aladdin this October and November.
Written by Tony Nicholls and directed by Bryce Manning at the Wembley Community Centre, the story follows young Aladdin who wants to marry Princess Badroulbadour but can’t because he has no money.
When he acquires a magic lamp, he discovers a genie within and soon has all the money in the world.
But Aladdin loses it all to the nasty Abanazar and is cast away, leaving the princess to be married to someone else.
Aladdin must find a way back and, in the process, learns that love is more important than money if he wants to marry the princess and destroy Abanazar.
“People are familiar with the Disney version of Aladdin with magic carpets but our version is in the traditional pantomime style,” Bryce said.
“We follow the basic plot in every Aladdin story but include more songs, local jokes and some humour that, hopefully, children won’t understand.”
While directing Aladdin is Bryce’s main focus, he also steps up to the stage in the show.
“I’ve taken on the role of Abanazar because the original actor became unavailable,” he said.
“I secretly enjoy playing the baddies and Abanazar is a really bad baddie – and I expect to get lots of ‘boos’ from the audience!”
Involved in acting, directing and theatre teaching since 1984, Bryce trained as an actor at the University of Western Sydney before moving back to Perth to start his teaching career.
He formed the Wembley Theatre Company in 1996 and has been producing, directing, writing and acting in the company’s annual productions for more than 25 years.
The company’s version of Old Mother Hubbard won a Finley Award for best production in 1997.
“I’ve been doing this for 26 years so I must enjoy it,” Bryce said. “I love Tony Nicholls’ pantomimes and I love working with new, inexperienced actors.
“I love watching them grow in confidence as actors and the excitement they have.”
Aladdin plays at 7pm October 20, 27 and November 3 and 2pm October 21, 22, 28, 29, November 4 and 5. Tickets are $20, $16 concession – book at trybooking.com/CIISY.
The pantomime is showing at the Wembley Community Centre, 40 Alexander Street, Wembley.