Aladdin is set to enchant St Helens Theatre Royal this Christmas

Aladdin is flying into St Helens Theatre Royal this Christmas – and today the first two members of its star-studded cast can be revealed.

Emmerdale star Liam Fox will make his panto debut in the role of the evil Abanazer, and panto royalty Leanne Campbell will appear as a magical ‘Genie of the Mirror’.

The spectacular seasonal production from Regal Entertainments comes to the Theatre Royal stage from Saturday 2 December to Sunday 14 January 2024. Tickets are on sale now costing from £21.

Take a magic carpet ride this Christmas and be whisked off to pantoland where young street urchin Aladdin lives with his hapless brother Wishee Washee and larger-than-life mum Widow Twankey in their family laundry.

Then join our young hero as he battles the wicked Abanazer who has a dastardly plan to rule the world with the help of one very special lamp.

Can Aladdin save the day – and can he also win the heart of the fair Princess Jasmine?

Liam Fox is best known for playing Emmerdale’s Dan Spencer and has appeared in more than 1,000 episodes since he joined the award-winning ITV soap in 2011.

The popular actor, presenter, voice artist and writer made his professional acting debut in Coronation Street in 1999. His many other TV credits include Dinnerladies, Cold Feet, Clocking Off, Hollyoaks, The Case (Lime Pictures), Our Great Yorkshire Life, Fat Friends, Casualty 1909, and Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing on the Edge.

Film credits include Demon Eye, Snappers and There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble.

Liam has also appeared on stage in productions including The Collector and Tuesday’s Class at the Lowry Studio, Iron (directed by Noreen Kershaw) at Manchester Royal Exchange, The Dumb Waiter for Three Ducks Theatre Company, and Cornered for Rocket Theatre Company.

Meanwhile actress and award-winning Radio City Breakfast Show host Leanne Campbell will play a digital Genie who appears as if by magic at every performance thanks to amazing state-of-the-art audio-visual technology.

Leanne started her acting career at the age of 10 while training at the Elliott Clarke School of dance and drama, with early roles including Annie at the Liverpool Playhouse and an award-winning performance as young Helen in the much-loved Twopence to Cross the Mersey.

She went on to win a scholarship to study at the prestigious Laine Theatre Arts, and continued her theatre career both in Liverpool and on tour playing many leading roles in musicals and plays including Me and My Girl, Carousel, The Sound of Music and Scrooge. She was also cast as Pam in ITV’s Children’s Ward.

In 2020 she wrote and starred in the successful comedy play Pete Price is Dead at Liverpool’s Royal Court, and other recent productions include leading roles in The Salon and Achy Breaky Bride.

Leanne was headhunted for radio after being spotted playing Fairy Liquid in Snow White at the Royal Court in 2003. Her many other high-profile panto appearances include a five-year reign as princess and villain at the Liverpool Empire, starring in everything from Peter Pan to Snow White, and six consecutive years at the city’s M&S Bank arena.

More casting is yet to be announced.

Theatre Manager Chantelle Nolan says: 

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with such talented performers on this festive season’s unmissable production of Aladdin.

“Liam Fox is making his pantomime debut and I know he’s going to be an absolutely fantastic panto villain, while Leanne is panto royalty and will bring plenty of magical sparkle to our state-of-the-art genie.

“Aladdin is a fantastic adventure story of good triumphing over evil, and it’s a real favourite with the family audiences at St Helens Theatre Royal.

“As always, I can guarantee gorgeous sets, dazzling costumes, plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and a soundtrack that will have you dancing in your seat and singing along. Roll on Christmas!”

NOTE: Leanne Campbell will appear as the Genie of the Mirror by the power of video projection and does not appear in person.

Tickets can be booked over the phoneor in person at the box office between 10am and 5pm, from Monday to Friday.Tickets can also be purchased online.