TICKETS are already selling fast for a pantomime production of Aladdin at Durham's Gala Theatre, with early booking advised to avoid disappointment.

The theatre's family pantomime is set to deliver a magical mix of mayhem, live music, laugher and surprises from Thursday November 21 to Sunday January 5.

Created in the heart of Durham, the show will see wishes granted, romance blossom and riches lost and won as the talented cast bring the much-loved story of Aladdin and his lamp to life.

Featuring a magical flying carpet, audiences will be transported to exotic locations such as China, Egypt and even Sacriston, following the streetwise hero as he attempts to make his town rich by marrying a princess.

However, the evil baddie Abanazar’s quest for gold, riches and world domination could scupper Aladdin’s plans. Hilarious Widow Twanky and loveable laundry lad Wishee Washee, meanwhile, promise to have people of all ages in stitches.

Once again, Gala favourites Neil Armstrong and Paul Hartley have written and directed the pantomime and will star as Abanazar and Wishee Washee respectively.

Joining them on stage will be Paul Dunn as Widow Twanky, David Hosie as Aladdin, Eleanor Chaganis as Princess Jasmine, Pip Chamberlin as the Genie and Kylie Ann Ford as Chief Inspector Tai Chi.

Robin Byers, Gala Theatre manager, said: “It just wouldn’t be Christmas without the Gala panto and this year’s production of Aladdin is sure to make the festivities even more magical. It’s always a pleasure to work with Paul and Neil and, we have loads of fun developing ideas for the show, which we can’t wait to share with our Durham audiences. They have certainly delivered yet again, with a wonderful script that breathes fresh life and humour into this classic tale.

“Add dazzling costumes, spectacular effects and a host of surprises into the mix and you have everything you need for the perfect Christmas outing.”

Last year, the Gala switched from using plastic to paper confetti to make the pantomime more environmentally friendly. This time, further steps have been taken to boost the production’s green credentials, including introducing LED lights to reduce the venue’s carbon emissions.

There will be British Sign Language performances on Sunday December 8 at 1pm and Thursday January 2 at 1pm, and a captioned performance on Thursday January 2 at 1pm.

There will also be a relaxed performance without loud noises or flashing lights for people with autism and sensory issues on Wednesday November 27 at 1.30pm.

Tickets from £7 to £18, with family tickets starting at £54. Visit or call 03000 266 600.