— Samantha Viner and Luke Morton contributed with this report.
The classic comedy duo Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball will be visiting Lincoln this December to perform the panto classic Aladdin in a month long run.
It’s their second visit to the Theatre Royal, with their performance last year being before the theatre revamp. Ball said: “We came last year, we fell in love with Lincoln last year, I think it’s a wonderful town, or a city really, but it’s like two towns in one really, you’ve got the bottom of the hill and the top, but no we love the place and we love the theatre.”
Cannon appreciates the size of the theatre for performances of this size. “It’s an intimate theatre as well, it’s not one of these 2,500 seater things where you know your audience seems separated from the performers. Here, even right at the top they seem to be on top of you which makes for good panto.”
“It’s brightened the whole place up and it’s actually just what we needed, it were good before, it was a great theatre before it was refurbished because it had an olde worlde charm about it, because of all the acts and all the great acts that have been here through the years” Cannon said.
The duo last performed Aladdin nine years ago which means that performing it for the second time is “still like new”. It’s the story of Aladdin that is the selling point though, Ball said “it is the flying carpet and there’s all sorts of things so it’s exciting.”
Pantomime as a genre is a favourite with the duo thanks to the family atmosphere that it creates. Cannon said “it is the only type of show in the world where you’re guaranteed a family audience… it’s a tradition.” The comedy pair are also being joined by Robin Askwith, Steve Barclay and Michelle Hardwick.
Hardwick, star of “The Royal”, is looking forward to the panto. She said: “It’ll be good to be here for a run, I’ve only ever been here like one week at a time, so I’m looking forward to spending my Christmas here!”
The month long run will obviously be tiring for the cast and Hardwick was shocked by the prospect of three shows on some days. “They’re generally about four weeks back-to-back, you’ve got the odd day off here and there and you do have Christmas Day off. I’ve never done a show where you’ve got three shows in one day, I was looking through the schedule and was like ‘Oh, is that a printing error?’… that’ll be a challenge.”
The show begins on December 15th and ends January 16th, tickets available from the Theatre Royal from £12.50 or £7 for students, see the Theatre Royal website for more details.Tweet