De Montfort Hall are delighted to announce a truly magical line-up for their spectacular family pantomime Aladdin.
Local star and winner of the X Factor SAM BAILEY returns for her fourth year and will be playing So Shi. Joining her are Blue star ANTONY COSTA as the wicked magician Abanazar, Milkshake presenter NATHAN CONNOR as the Genie of the Lamp, Britain’s Got Talent finalist PAUL BURLING as Wishee Washee, magicians MATTHEW POMEROY and NATASHA LAMB as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, with BBC Radio Leicester’s MARTIN BALLARD as Widow Twankey.
Antony Costa rose to fame with Blue in 2001 when their debut single ‘All Rise’ reached number four in the UK singles charts, with the album of the same name reaching number one in the album charts.
No stranger to theatre Antony appeared in the West End in Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, toured in Boogie Nights and he is currently touring the UK in the musical Rock of Ages as well as appearing in numerous pantomimes over the years. Antony was a contestant in the 2005 series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and has appeared in both Casualty and Holby City.
"I'm thrilled to be playing Abanazar in Aladdin at De Montfort Hall. The audiences have always been amazing in Leicester so I can't wait to have a great Christmas playing the baddie!"
Sam Bailey is hugely popular with DMH’s panto audience and at De Montfort Hall she has played Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk, Enchantress in Beauty and the Beast and Shoo in Peter Pan, for which she won Best Supporting Female at The Great British Panto Awards, and is delighted to be returning for Aladdin.
“There’s just something about panto isn’t there? Families and friends, young and old all coming together for one afternoon, or evening, of comedy gold.”
“And, for me there is something extra special about panto at De Montfort Hall. I am very lucky that my career takes me all over the world, but nothing quite beats performing in your hometown which is why I am delighted to be taking to the stage at De Montfort Hall once again. The venue is magical at Christmas and performing in front of fellow Leicestershire people is one of my most favourite parts.”
Nathan is a familiar face to children across the country as he has been a presenter on Milkshake since 2017.
“I cannot wait for panto to start and I am most looking forward to showing my body popping moves as the Genie. I’ve always loved Aladdin and to get the chance to play the Genie is amazing! The Genie is funny, energetic and quite cool so I can’t wait to dive in and perform at De Montfort Hall this year. Bring it on Leicester!”
Another familiar face from television is Paul Burling who rose to fame on Britain’s Got Talent, reaching the final with his hilarious impressions of numerous famous people and cartoon characters. Due to his huge popularity ITV gave Paul his own one hour special show called It’s Paul Burling! Alongside his television appearances and live shows he is a veteran pantomime performing, having appeared in nearly 30 pantomimes all over the UK.
De Montfort Hall are delighted to be able to bring some extra magic to the panto stage this Christmas with professional magicians Matthew Pomeroy and Natasha Lamb. The duo have performed all over the world and, as well as being magicians, both Matthew and Natasha have trained in performing arts and are looking forward to combining these talents in Aladdin this festive season.
Of course, panto just wouldn’t be panto without a dame, and who better to take on the role of Widow Twankey than the fabulous BBC Radio Leicester presenter Martin Ballard. Martin is a well-known and hugely popular figure across Leicestershire. As well as his radio presenting his voice will be familiar to Tiger’s fans as their matchday announcer. Martin has been performing in pantomime for nearly thirty years, and is delighted to be popping on a frock once more to play Dame at De Montfort Hall for the fifth consecutive year.
Antony Flint, De Montfort Hall general manager, said: “We are thrilled to have Sam and Martin back on board after proving themselves to be pantomime favourites. Antony, Nathan and Paul will further enhance this remarkable cast.
“Panto is now firmly in the festive calendar for our audiences – and this year will be bigger and better than ever.”
Aladdin runs from Saturday 14 December 2019 until Sunday 5 January 2020.