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12 December 2017

The SSE Arena, Belfast, counts down to spectacular panto opening

The SSE Arena, Belfast, is counting down the days to the launch of the biggest theatrical extravaganza of the year, the official opening of the inaugural pantomime: ‘SSE Airtricity Presents: The Spectacular Aladdin’ on Thursday 14th December.

A host of stars have been preparing to take the ancient, ever-popular tale to the stage, alongside director Dan Gordon and co-producers Joe Rea and Martin Lynch. The cast includes country singing sensation Jake Carter as Aladdin, Nadia Forde playing Princess Jasmine and local actress Nuala McKeever as the Empress. The cast will also include Belfast’s funniest Panto queen, Ross Anderson-Doherty as Genie and X-Factor’s, Rhydian, who plays the evil role of Abanazar.

Throwing a spotlight on ‘The Spectacular Aladdin’ in numbers, over fifty people have worked hard to bring the production to life, including nine key cast members, eight dancers, thirty six child performers, twelve crew members, two producers and a director. Over five thousand hours of preparation have been spent getting the production to the stage - in just three short weeks. During rehearsals the panto team have consumed over a thousand bottles of water, six thousand hot cups of tea and a whopping ten thousand cups of coffee!

Lead actor Jake Carter said, “I’m so delighted to be a part of such a spectacular show. Aladdin is one of my all-time favourite pantomimes and we have all worked hard to bring the Panto to life. I’m really looking forward to getting onto the stage in Belfast with such brilliant actors; Rhydian, Nadia Forde and Nuala McKeever.”

Northern Ireland’s biggest and newest Christmas pantomime, brought to the SSE Arena by SSE Airtricity, Q Radio, M & J Pantos and sponsors Fruit Shoot, promises to bring families and schools on a colourful, charming and magical ride. The Panto will be set up in theatre format with an amazing view from every seat in the house and most importantly no restricted viewing.

School specific performances start on Thursday 14 December, family shows will start from Saturday 16, with a family ticket for 4 for just £80 and for SSE Reward customers availing of a special kids-go- free offer. Tickets can be purchased online at

Leanne Sheill from SSE Airtricity is thrilled to be the title sponsor of ‘SSE Airtricity Presents: The Spectacular Aladdin’ pantomime. “We’re so proud to be involved with such a spectacular production and that we’re able to give our customers great offers such as kids going free and some special money can’t buy experiences.”

David Fallon, Brand Manager at Fruit Shoot and Robinsons said Fruit Shoot is delighted to be supporting The Spectacular Aladdin Pantomime: “Fruit Shoot is delighted to be supporting the Spectacular Aladdin Pantomime. Fruit Shoot is made especially with kids in mind, our brand purpose is centred on inspiring kids adventurous side and we want new adventures to happen every day. What better way to do that than bringing the magic of pantomime to families and kids nationwide.”

An exciting new dimension to the pantomime will be provided by media partners, Q Radio, who will host a warm-up disco before each show with Q Radio presenters seeking to ensure a great night out for all Panto-goers.

Robert Walshe, Managing Director and Head of Programming at Q Radio, said: “We are incredibly excited to be the official media partner of the inaugural SSE Arena pantomime, the biggest pantomime on the island of Ireland! The Spectacular Aladdin will be exactly that, and we are delighted that Q Radio will be a part of what is a festive highlight and Christmas tradition for many families throughout Northern Ireland. Q Radio will be there for all 29 performances, providing audiences with pre-show entertainment as well as providing Q with a fantastic way to meet our listeners. We are looking forward to what will undoubtedly be a magical experience for all involved!”

Pantomime charity partners, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, will benefit from the pantomime by fundraising bucket collections at a number of the shows.

The Panto will run for 26 performances ONLY, 14th – 27th December, 2017.

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