September 24, 2021 4.58 pm This story is over 32 months old

Aladdin panto returns to Lincoln Drill Hall after a year of COVID delays

Promises to be a unmissable show after 18 months of delays

By Local Democracy Reporter

Lincoln Drill Hall launched its ever-popular pantomime on Friday, with a former Lincoln College student turned Hollywood actor playing a starring role.

The production chosen for this year is Aladdin, and it was scheduled to take place back in 2020 but was cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The launch of the Christmas pantomime took place at Lincoln College’s Knights Building on Monks Road, while £1.3 million refurbishment works take place at Lincoln Drill Hall, which the college bought out earlier this year.

School children from Lincoln Minster got the chance to meet the cast afterwards. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

In attendance were school children from Monks Abbey Primary School and Lincoln Minster, who were all in great voice to join with the classic production.

The pantomime itself will be performed at the Drill Hall this Christmas, running from December 6 to January 2. Tickets can be bought here, starting from just £16.

Georgia Gallagher is playing the role of Princess Jasmine. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The cast includes Rory Dulku as Aladdin, Georgia Gallagher as Princess Jasmine and Craig Garner, who has appeared in Harry Potter and Star Wars films, as Abanazer.

The Lincolnite spoke to Craig about his “full circle” journey from being a student at Lincoln College to a Hollywood actor and then back to his roots in the county.

Craig Garner has been in Harry Potter and Doctor Who, now he’s back in his hometown playing Abanazer in the Aladdin pantomime. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“First and foremost it was just great to be back on stage performing for an audience again”, he said. “The kids were great and seemed to really enjoy it, that’s what it’s all about.

“I’m really excited to be working with Jamie Marcus Productions again, I’m back where it all began for me all those years ago which has made it that bit more special.”

Left to right: Phil Hamlyn Williams (Chair of the Lincoln Arts Trust), James Foster (MD at Lincoln College Group) and Jamie Marcus (MD at Jamie Marcus Productions). | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Jamie Marcus, managing director at Jamie Marcus Productions, promised a “dynamic” show with his Aladdin production, and the launch event boasted TikTok routines, singalongs and pantomime classics.

He said that despite fears that the coronavirus pandemic would not be slowing down any time soon, he never lost faith in the art of theatre production.

“The last 18 months have been complete hell, but we always knew that creative arts were never going away.

“Aladdin has been in the pipeline since November 2019, so for us to finally be able to showcase the hard work has been hugely exciting.

“During lockdown I forgot how impactful the arts can be, and how much it could raise spirits and make people smile. For us now it is all about encouraging people to come back to theatre and enjoying shows again.”

Jordan Shiel played the humorous role of PC Pork Pie. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite