Success for Hawth panto as Aladdin and friends work their magic in Crawley

Aladdin. Pamela Raith Photography
Aladdin. Pamela Raith Photography

The Hawth team are celebrating a seasonal success this month following the final performance of their latest pantomime, Aladdin.

The spectacular festive show attracted more than 33,000 people to the Crawley theatre during its run from December 7 to January 6.

Michael J Batchelor and Jason Gardiner. Pamela Raith Photography

Michael J Batchelor and Jason Gardiner. Pamela Raith Photography

The panto was packed with slapstick comedy, great songs, high-energy dancing and dazzling costumes, and it featured a top-notch cast too.

Dancing on Ice’s Jason Gardiner played Abanazar, while Shaheen Jafargholi (EastEnders, Casualty) starred as Aladdin, with impressionist Jess Robinson as the Spirit of the Ring, Nathaniel Morrison as the Genie of the Lamp, Ian Jones as Wishee Washee, Phil Stewart as the Emperor and Emily Day as Princess Jasmine. And, of course, The Hawth’s resident Dame, Michael J. Batchelor, donned his eye-popping dresses to play Widow Twankey. Michael will return for his sixth year of panto at The Hawth in Dick Whittington at the end of 2019.

Aladdin also featured brilliant music and sound effects thanks to musical director Kevin Oliver Jones and his team.

A Hawth spokesperson said: “Produced once again by Evolution Productions and telling the story poor Aladdin whose dream of marrying the Princess comes true with the help of a magic lamp, a genie and flying carpet, this beautifully crafted pantomime was a perfect mix of a highly talented cast, hilarious comedy routines, audience participation, amazing sets and, of course, a baby elephant and a giant mummy!

Nathaniel Morrison. Pamela Raith Photography

Nathaniel Morrison. Pamela Raith Photography

“There was high praise from critics who called the show ‘spectacular’ (Crawley Observer) and ‘truly magical’ (Mid Sussex Times), while Theatre South East were impressed by the ‘dazzling costumes, lavish and colourful sets’ and whatsgoodtodo.com said Aladdin was ‘everything you want from a pantomime’.”

Members of the audience also praised the show on various social media platforms.

Tickets for Dick Whittington went on sale in early December and are selling fast with more than 6,500 people already booking their seats.

To book yours call The Hawth box office on 01293 553636 or visit hawth.co.uk.

Shaheen Jafargholi and Emily Day. Pamela Raith Photography

Shaheen Jafargholi and Emily Day. Pamela Raith Photography

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