Opened: 11 December 2005
Booking until: 22 January 2006
Running time: 2hrs 30mins
Prices: £ - £
Director: Sean Mathias
Cast: Sir Ian McKellen , Roger Allam , Frances Barber
Pantomime in a new version by Bille Brown (freely adapted from the translation by Sir Richard Burton of The Thousand and One Nights) with an original score by Gareth Valentine and featuring the additional song 'I Believe in You' written by Elton John and Lee Hall. Directed by Sean Mathias with designs by John Napier, choreography by Wayne McGregor, costumes by Mark Bouman, lighting by David Hersey and sound by Fergus O'Hare.
The Old Vic Theatre Company celebrates Christmas and honours its vaudeville past with a classic family pantomime.
Aladdin is one of the most famous tales from the celebrated collection of stories The Thousand and One Nights. The story of Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp was the source for the first stage version at Covent Garden in 1788. The famous clown Grimaldi played in it in 1813, and in 1861 'Widow Twankey' made her first appearance as a character. Since then Aladdin has been a permanent feature of the English pantomime scene.
This new version by Bille Brown is freely adapted from the celebrated translation by Sir Richard Burton of The Thousand and One Nights. Combining all the popular pantomime ingredients, it is being staged during the Christmas season as a tribute to the more raucous, pre-Shakespearean era at The Old Vic.
Ian McKellen reprises his role from last year's production as the dame, 'Widow Twankey'. The pantomime will also star Frances Barber as 'Dim Sum', Roger Allam as 'Abbanazar'.
This production was originally seen at The Old Vic Theatre in 2004 when it previewed 17 December, opened 18 December 2004 and closed 23 January 2005.
"Ian is one of the great actors of all time," says Kevin Spacey, The Old Vic's Artistic Director. "We are delighted to welcome him back to a theatre which he last played in nearly forty years ago. He was ready for a fresh challenge and decided he'd like to do a pantomime, and one which is part of The Old Vic tradition - the theatre first staged Aladdin back in the nineteenth century." Ian McKellen explains the lasting appeal of this classic British genre: "Pantomime has everything theatrical - song, dance, verse, slapstick, soliloquy, audience participation, spectacle, cross-dressing and a good plot, strong on morality and romance. What more could you want for a family outing?"