Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal: Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes at Norwich Theatre Royal

Norwich Theatre Royal is about to play host panto season once again, so I go behind the scenes at the rehearsals for Aladdin and speak to the cast and crew

Aladdin rehearsalsDecember has arrived and the countdown to Christmas is well underway – oh yes it is! – so there’s no better time to look at one of my favourite festive traditions – pantomime.

I was recently invited to take a sneak peek at the rehearsals for Aladdin, which opens at Norwich Theatre Royal on 12 December.

Cast, dancers and crew have been learning lines, practising routines and setting up the scenery for weeks now, so it was an exciting opportunity to go behind the scenes.

Meet Aladdin

Taking the lead role of Aladdin is Steven Roberts (Hollyoaks and The History Boys), who is no stranger to Norwich. While we were chatting he told me: “I remember coming [to Norwich] from Lowestoft on the train with family to watch panto. It’s nostalgic for me, but also crazy!”

Steven also explained that, like most children, panto was his first experience of theatre. The best part was being allowed to shout out and be noisy.

Read more: The Ivy Brasserie, Norwich

Introducing the Genie

GenieMilkshake star Kiera-Nicole Brennan, who will be playing Genie commented: “I love the smiles and laughs panto creates and the impact we have on children’s enjoyment.”

When asked about rehearsals and what it’s like backstage at Norwich Theatre Royal, Kiera-Nicole added: “We have a great atmosphere and real family vibes.”

This was clear from the warm and friendly welcome I received from all the cast members.

30 seconds with Wishy Washy

I managed to catch some time with Ben Langley, who will be playing Wishy Washy. Aladdin is Ben’s favourite panto because it lends itself to clowning around and slapstick.

“Norwich creates some big sets, which help deliver some comedy-gold moments,” Ben comments.

He also alluded to some big laughs and that all-important flying carpet!

Read more: The Wildebeest, Stoke Holy Cross

The Dame

Norwich-favourite Richard Gauntlett returns to the stage at Norwich Theatre Royal for the 18th time as the pantomime dame. Once again, Richard is not only starring in the show, but also producing it.

When asked what his favourite part of panto is, he comments: “Rehearsals are not my favourite period! I like to get on with the performances and putting on a great show.”

I like to get on with the performances and putting on a great show

Aladdin promises entertainment for all with fabulous costumes, stunning sets, laundry and lots of laughs.

Panto in Norfolk

Can’t make it to panto at Norwich Theatre Royal? Here are some of the others being staged throughout Norwich:

Sleeping Beauty 
Gorleston Pavilion Theatre
6 – 30 December 2018


Beauty and the Beast
Sheringham Little Theatre
8 December 2018 – 1 January 2019


Dick Comes Again! (Adults only) 
Gorleston Pavilion Theatre
14 – 16 December 2018


Wizard of Oz 
St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth
15 – 30 December 2018


Dick Whittington 
Diss Corn Hall
19 – 30 December 2018


Snow White 
North Walsham Pop Up People’s Theatre.
20 – 24 December 2018


Gorleston Pavilion Theatre
10 – 13 January 2019



I'm Dawn and I've lived in Norwich since I was a child, but there's so much of Norfolk I've not seen or explored.However, I am very familiar with the theatre. Some might say it's my second home!Whether at Norwich's Theatre Royal, or the bustle of London's West End, I'm always excited to see a show...old or new! We're very lucky to have a range of theatres across the region, providing a vast selection of performances and productions.So, as often as I can, I will be sharing my theatre thoughts with you. Bringing you show reviews, theatre news and some interviews along the way too.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

twelve + six =