December 16, 2021 12.20 pm This story is over 23 months old

The Drill celebrates curtain raiser Aladdin panto after renovation

A successful sold out start for the Christmas pantomime

After months of renovation and investment, The Drill, the new name for Lincoln Drill Hall, has welcomed back its first visitors for the annual Christmas pantomime.

The family favourite pantomime of Aladdin, staged by Jamie Marcus Productions, opened at The Drill on Saturday, December 11 and will continue to run until the new year with 33 performances in total.

It is the first production to be held at The Drill since it was taken over by Lincoln College Group and revamped with a fresh look and a new box office area.

A sold out crowd came to see Jamie Marcus Productions’ Aladdin panto. | Photo: Howell Thomas

The entire front of house area has been completed in time for the panto return, and it will close again temporarily once Aladdin has finished to complete further renovation works, including a new kitchen, foyer and improvements to the backstage section.

Starring in Aladdin this year is Rory Dulku as the main protagonist, Georgia Gallagher as Princess Jasmine and Craig Garner – a Lincoln actor who has appeared in Harry Potter and Star Wars films – as the evil Abanazar.

The panto is back with a bang this year, with Lincoln Drill Hall hosting the Aladdin production throughout Christmas. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Drill’s director, Mark Taylor, said: “We’re tremendously excited to be opening our doors to the public once again – especially as we welcome audiences for some feel-good family fun this Christmas.

“The team has pulled out all the stops, with powerful performances from a stellar cast – and we’re even featuring a spectacular flying carpet to really set the scene.

“While we’re currently open in a reduced capacity to ensure that everyone feels safe and maintains social distancing, nothing about the production is in any way diminished. It’s the show you and the whole family know and love – shining, shimmering, splendid… and more than a bit silly!”

Aladdin will run at The Drill until January 2. | Photo: Howell Thomas

Mark Taylor also promised that more was to come for the newly named The Drill, promising exciting plans once the next stage of refurbishment is complete.

He added: “The Drill itself looks absolutely fantastic and the comments and feedback we’ve had from visitors so far has been wonderful to hear – but we’re not done yet!

“Once Aladdin flies off to Agrabah in January, we’ll be closing once again to make our backstage just as impressive as our front of house before we fully reopen in February.”

You know the drill! Lincoln Drill Hall is returning with a new look and a new name to match! | Photo: Polkey Collins

Tickets for the shows are still available for £16, either online or by contacting the box office on 01522 534160.

Seating is adhering to social distancing guidelines, with one seat being left between bookings so that audiences can keep space while enjoying the show.