Celebrities, media moguls and movers and shakers in the city were taken on a whistle-stop magic carpet adventure through LHK Productions’ latest pantomime as they attended the press launch of Aladdin!


Producer Lee Kelly waved his magic wand and revealed his all-star cast who will perform in Aladdin this Christmas before treating them to a sneak preview of his spellbinding panto.


Returning to the Epstein Theatre for his fifth festive season, this year Lee’s line-up for 2016 includes Atomic Kitten’s Natasha Hamilton, Big Brother’s Mark Byron, Magaluf Weekender’s Jordan Davies and X Factor’s Sean Smith.


Presenter Debi Jones introduced each member of the cast before Natasha Hamilton and Sean Smith sang their solos – wowing the audience with their amazing vocals.


Headlining Aladdin is singer, TV personality and businesswoman Natasha Hamilton, famous for being one third of successful girl group Atomic Kitten, and more recently playing the lead role Mrs Johnstone in the highly acclaimed West End musical Blood Brothers!


Flame-haired beauty Natasha made her pantomime debut when she played the title role in Peter Pan at the Liverpool Empire and is looking forward to exercising her sultry vocals again when she plays the feisty Princess Jasmine.


Said Natasha: “I can’t wait to star in Aladdin. I love doing panto and I can’t wait to bring my kids to watch it! I thought I was too old to play the Princess but luckily I bagged the part!”


X Factor finalist, Sean Smith, is flying high in his role as street urchin Aladdin. The singer from Portsmouth was one half of pop duo Same Difference which came third in the live final in 2007. Performing with his sister Sarah, the siblings have since split and Sean is awaiting the release of his debut solo album.


No stranger to the stage, Sean began performing at an early age, appearing in Evita alongside Marti Webb at the age of seven. He left home at 17 to perform on cruise ships and has appeared in numerous pantomimes and musicals. Now is looking forward to entertaining the people of Liverpool.


Said Sean: “I’ve played the role of Prince before but Aladdin is a bit more cheeky chappy and so much fun to play. I can’t wait to star in Aladdin. And as a massive Atomic Kitten fan, it was my childhood dream to sing with Natasha Hamilton. I am also looking forward to spending Christmas in Liverpool!”


Reality TV star Jordan Davies will be granting lots of wishes when he shows off his highly toned six-pack in his role as the Genie of the Lamp. The Welsh hunk and star of Magaluf Weekender and Ex On The Beach is guaranteed to have all the ladies swooning!


He said: “It’s the first time I’ve done anything like this but I thought I would give it a go and hopefully I’ll make people laugh along the way!”


Meanwhile, Merseyside’s Mark Byron will be on a power trip as the Slave of the Ring. This larger than life Liverpool lad rose to fame on Big Brother Power Trip in 2014 when the public fell in love with his lively personality, funny catchphrases and over the top reactions. Following the show, Mark has maintained a high profile appearing in national magazines, newspapers and regular appearances on Big Brother’s Bit On The Side.


Crowned Liverpool’s Most Stylish Scouser in the Juice FM Style Awards, Mark is looking forward to flaunting his flamboyant costumes as Slave of the Ring!


He said: “I am so excited as this is my first ever panto. I love my outfit. It’s not something I’d normally wear but I reckon I’m rocking the turban…!”


And audiences will be thrilled to hear that resident favourites Michael Chapman, Tom Burroughs and Lewis Pryor will also be returning to the Epstein stage to bring their usual mixture of mirth and mayhem and all the essential ingredients of a magical family panto!


There is nothing like a dame, especially when she’s played by the hilarious Michael Chapman and audiences will be delighted to know that their favourite panto dame will be back to play Widow Twankey.


Tom Burroughs will have the audience booing aplenty as the evil Abanazar and billed as the one to watch, Lewis Pryor will provide lots of laughs as the cheeky Wishy Washy and Lesley Butler provides a touch of glamour as the Empress of China.


Hot on the heels of its eggcellent Easter panto, Snow White, and smash-hit festive production of Cinderella, LHK’s next panto promises to deliver the same mixture of fun and laughter that audiences have come to expect, as well as stunning scenery, slapstick comedy, sparkling costumes and plenty of glamour provided by the galaxy of stars.


Tickets are now on sale for the festive family panto which will take the audience on a magic carpet ride to an exotic land filled with all-powerful genies, beautiful Princesses, wondrous caves and three wishes which might just make a young man’s dreams come true…


Producer Lee Kelly said: “We’re delighted to reveal our all-star cast for our Christmas pantomime Aladdin which will be bigger and better than ever.

“We have a really good cast this year who all make a great team. And as a big Atomic Kitten fan, I am thrilled to have Natasha on board!”


Aladdin runs from Thursday, 8th December 2016 to Sunday, January 8th 2017. So make your family’s wish come true and book your tickets now for Liverpool’s most magical carpet ride.






Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, Liverpool, L1 3DZ

Thursday, 8th December 2016 to Sunday, January 8th 2017

Performance times vary (check with box office)

Tickets: Adults £19, concessions £17, family £66




Call 0844 888 4411, visit www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk or book in person at the theatre box office (open 2pm-6pm Mon-Thu & 12pm-6pm Fri-Sat)


Or via TicketQuarter: Call 0844 8000 410, visit www.ticketquarter.co.uk or book in person at TicketQuarter, Queen Square, Liverpool.


Photo: Bond Media Agency