Aladdin at Hackney Empire until 6 Jan
Hackney Empire celebrates 20 fabulous years of pantos from writer and director Susie McKenna and musical director Steven Edis.
Clive Rowe as Widow Twankey and Tony Timberlake as Abanazar in Hackney's Empire's Aladdin. Photo credit: Robert Workman
This year's staging of Aladdin takes the audience on a magical ride through Ha-Ka-Ney, in the Far East End, where gender fluid Aladdin (Gemma Sutton) dreams of finding love and making their fortune.
But will the evil Abanazar (Tony Timberlake) stop young love as he attempts to take over the world by capturing Gaia the Goddess of Light with the unwitting help of the effervescent Genie of the Lamp (aka Hackney favourite Kat B)...
Olivier award-winning Clive Rowe makes a fantastic Hackney comeback in the larger-than-life role of Widow Twankey, while Olivier award-nominated actress, EastEnders star and comedian Tameka Empson also has a hilarious Hackney homecoming as The Empress.
With slicker set design and stage production than seen at the Empire before, this is one of the best pantos out there.
Although it's been nearly a decade since Aladdin was last staged at the Empire, Susie says it remains one of her very favourite pantos: "It's full of magic, and whilst the traditional story will be there, this year our usual Hackney Empire take on things will see Aladdin make an epic journey to the frozen wastelands to save his family and the world!"
Ha-Ka-Ney...Oh YEH! Aladdin is on at Hackney Empire until 6 January.