EastEnders star heads up St Albans 2012 pantomime cast

PUBLISHED: 13:12 05 August 2012

Phil Gallagher, aka Mr Maker, Bob Golding as Pc Pongo and former EastEnders star Shaun Williamson

Phil Gallagher, aka Mr Maker, Bob Golding as Pc Pongo and former EastEnders star Shaun Williamson

Archant

THE cast of this year’s St Albans pantomime, Aladdin, held a press conference and photo call outside Chinese restaurant Jade Garden. Samantha Lewis went along to see the cast, including former EastEnders star Shaun Williamson, who played the hapless Barry Evans in the BBC One soap.

The cast of Aladdin, including Phil Gallagher, Shaun Williamson and Bob Golding, at the St Albans panto launchThe cast of Aladdin, including Phil Gallagher, Shaun Williamson and Bob Golding, at the St Albans panto launch

FLYING carpets and magic lamps are just some of the treats in store in this year’s pantomime at the Alban Arena.

A star-studded cast will take to the stage this Christmas to perform in Aladdin, which runs from Friday, December 14 to Sunday, January 6, 2013, in St Albans.

And this year former EastEnders and Extras actor Shaun Williamson is lining up to join the team to play the evil Abanazar, who pretends to be Aladdin’s uncle.

Shaun, who is best-known for playing Barry Evans in the BBC television soap, will be making his 11th pantomime appearance.

The cast of Aladdin, including Phil Gallagher, former EastEnders star Shaun Williamson and Bob Golding, at the Alban Arena panto launchThe cast of Aladdin, including Phil Gallagher, former EastEnders star Shaun Williamson and Bob Golding, at the Alban Arena panto launch

He said: “This is the third time I have played the part. I think at first it is like I am being Barry playing nasty but as soon as it unfolds I am making a clown out of myself.”

The actor added: “I love this part and it is so well written. We have flying carpets and an incredibly funny dame.”

CBeebies’ Mister Maker star Phil Gallagher is set to play the lead role as Aladdin.

This is his second time appearing in a pantomime at the Alban Arena following the success of last year’s production of Snow White.

Phil said: “I am really excited to be back. I have been in panto for eight years but Aladdin is my favourite because I get to fly on a magic carpet.

“The audience can expect high quality family entertainment which is what panto is all about. It is full of action and it is a great story.”

He added: “Panto is quite often the first time our younger audience members may walk into a theatre so hopefully we will inspire a younger generation of theatre goers.

“Last year we had a really great show and lots of people came back to see it again and again.”

The script is written by Paul Hendy and is being co-directed by Bob Golding, who promises the panto is going to be full of slapstick comedy.

Bob, who lives in St Albans and also starred in Snow White, is performing in Aladdin as Pc Pongo.

He said: “When you have a cast that are up for a laugh and are good sports then you are going to have fun.

“You should have something there for the kids and for the parents. There is a touch of Carry On which goes over the kids heads and lands in the laps on the parents.”

* Tickets for Aladdin start at £16.50 for adults and £14 for concessions.

To book tickets call 01727 844488 or visit www.alban-arena.co.uk


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times