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Tunbridge Wells: Aladdin at the Assembly Hall Theatre is launched by cast including Michael Greco from EastEnders

By Angela Cole

Panto season is almost upon us...oh yes it is!

The cast of Aladdin at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells gathered at High Rocks in the town this week to officially launch the countdown to the start of panto for 2017.

They were led by former EastEnders bad boy Michael Greco, who will play baddie Abanazar in the classic rags to riches tale featuring magic lamps, a flying carpet and a genie.

Michael Greco as Abanazar with the cast of Aladdin Picture: Phil Lee
Michael Greco as Abanazar with the cast of Aladdin Picture: Phil Lee

Michael played Beppe di Marco in the BBC soap from 1998 to 2002 and has since appeared in Chicago, Kiss Me Kate, and Casualty and Celebrity Love Island.

Michael, who has recently moved back to England after living in Los Angeles for 10 years, said: "Panto is as English as you can get, and it's such a great time of year here. I can't wait to get back to the theatre, which is my first love - and I get to dress up as a baddie!"

Michael Greco as Abanazar
Michael Greco as Abanazar

Joining him will be Jess Robinson from Britain's Got Talent, who will play the Slave of the Ring, who is known as the voice of the CBBC show Horrible Histories.

CBBC presenter Mark Rhodes, who has also appeared in Dancing on Ice and was a runner-up in Pop Idol will play Aladdin, while Chris Pizzey, known for his appearances on the Basil brush Show plays Wishee Washee and Tom Whalley will play PC Pong.

Quinn Patrick dons the larger than life frock to play the panto dame, Widow Twankey.

The show is produced by UK Productions and will be directed by the theatre's John-Jackson Almond.

It will run from Friday, December 8 to Wednesday, January 3, 2018.

For tickets visit assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk or call 01892 530613.

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