This year's pantomime by Wilmslow Guild Players is something slightly different – it was written by a serving RAF officer during his time on operations over Afghanistan.
Graham Basnett wrote Aladdin during his off-duty hours for his mother's drama group. Graham's brother Dave is the Guild Players' secretary and a very active member, and Graham has kindly allowed the Players to perform his panto this year.
"I am playing the wicked Abanaza," said Dave. "This is a change for me as I usually play the Pantomime Dame. I am having to practice being REALLY nasty!"
The Guild Players' pantomime is always hugely popular, with many people enjoying taking their children to a show in the run-up to Christmas. "Once again our matinée performance sold out within a few days," said ticket Secretary Bill Beton. "People love to come to our pantomime because unlike the huge professional shows our theatre only holds eighty. This means the kids are really close to the action and they are always totally absorbed all the way through."
The Players have a vibrant cast of mixed ages, ranging from seven to seventy. All are keen that the audience should have a lively start to Christmas.
"This is a really up-to-date pantomime," continued Bill, "with lots of great jokes, some of which you might even have not heard before! And it's packed with all the gags, slapstick and audience participation you expect from every panto. And you'll certainly never visit a laundry again!"
"Come and join in the audience participation and let your hair down," said director Grace Reed. "The reaction we get from the audience always makes the cast very happy."
The pantomime runs from 10th to 13th December at Wilmslow Guild, the adult education centre on Bourne Street. Performances start at 7.15pm. Tickets cost £7.50 for adults and £5 for children and can be booked online at www.wgp.org.uk (no booking fee) or by calling 01625 520126 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Jane Beagles (right) as Aladdin and Vicky Carter as Princess Jasmine.