Panto time at the Exchange

ALADDIN, one of the oldest of the traditional English pantomimes, is the 2024 choice for SNADS, at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, from Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th February, with matinees on Thursday and Saturday.

The company has chosen the script by Ben Crocker, one of the country’s most popular and performed panto writers, well-known for the way he blends the well-known story with some modern twists.

Unlike the professional pantomimes, where some male star of soaps, stage or charts plays the hero, SNADS stick with the tradition of a girl playing a boy, and this time the thigh-slapping role is taken by 18 year-old Jess Allen.

In a cast with lots of young talent, 15 year-old Lina Felsa is the Genie of the Lamp, and the youngest dancers is just nine. Musical director and co-director Tax Allen is only 21.

The important role of Abanazer, one of pantomime’s great glamorous and thoroughly nasty baddies, falls to the talented Toby Greenfield, while show director Martyn Lilley has stepped into the colourful skirts of Widow Twankey after the original dame had to stand down.

Expect colour, magic, lots of songs and dancing – and all the usual pantomime mayhem!