Fun and flying as Sheffield society prepares for pantomime

Rehearsals are under way for Frecheville's community pantomime in Sheffield.
Rehearsals are under way for Frecheville's community pantomime in Sheffield.
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Amateur actors are set to spring a host of magical surprises when they bring pantomime to a Sheffield suburb.

Aladdin is to transform the stage of Frecheville Community Centre with a taste of the Middle East – from a flying carpet to evil sorcerer – next month.

From left, Gene Genie, Wishee Washee, Princess Jia and Aladdin.

From left, Gene Genie, Wishee Washee, Princess Jia and Aladdin.

Members of Frecheville Original Production Society have been rehearsing their lines for months – and are still keeping some elements of the show under wraps for the audience.

Drew Biggin, who this year plays ‘big baddie’ Abanazar, said: “There is going to be a magical carpet, though I’m not sure how that will work, and a few extra surprises.

“I can’t reveal too much as some of them are being organised as part of the arrangements for my character’s death. It’s all top secret.”

Frecheville resident Kevin Windle is both writer and director of this year’s production.

His daughter Aimee Windle is co-producer with Marie Watson and also plays the main part of Aladdin, an improverished boy who discovers a genie that can grant him wishes.

Playwright Drew, of Mosborough, said: “We’ve performed Aladdin before, but this version has been written by Kevin, so is completely original.

“The show has a big community aspect to it. There are about 15 children taking part and a lot of their mums are also involved in wardrobe or behind the scenes.

“It is very popular, we have about 200 seats every night which equates to about 1,200 over the week. It is an amazing panto.”

Aladdin runs from Monday to Saturday, February 24 to March 1, at the Churchdale Road community centre.

nTo book tickets, priced £5.50 for adults and £4.50 for concessions, call 0114 241 6169.