Wicked Productions, which was founded by Tom Swift from Tunbridge Wells, has just launched its Christmas panto, Aladdin, at the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge. Here, Edward Turner who is playing the main role and Etheria Chan who’s cast as Princess Jasmine tell the Times all about the fun and frolics of their show for 2024…
2023 is your first year performing with Wicked Productions, which is back in Tonbridge for its eighth year! How are you both feeling about joining the team this Christmas?
Etheria: I am extremely honoured to be part of this marvellous team and very lucky to have my first pantomime experience with such a wonderfully experienced production!
Edward: I am so excited to join the team, they have been so incredibly welcoming.
Aladdin is a story loved by many and we have lots of excited families looking forward to seeing this production. What can audiences expect this year from your characters?
Etheria: Jasmine is the mayor’s daughter (not quite a princess!), she is fun, likeable and she absolutely adores Aladdin! However, she may make mistakes, so definitely requires help from the amazing audience, but go easy on her…
Edward: Our Aladdin this year takes a more local approach, we are fun and energetic characters that hold a local feel! You can expect lots of great songs and plenty of laughs!
What do you think makes panto so popular and well-loved among audiences?
Etheria: Besides being a longstanding Christmas tradition in the UK, the interaction between the cast and the audience, and the unpredictability of each show is simply magical. Anything can happen, and no two shows are the same. It is an immersive experience for the whole family to enjoy. Pantomime definitely brings people together and you just feel refreshed and energised – I guess that is why it will never go out of style!
Edward: It’s a great family tradition to go and see a panto, to enjoy with all of your loved ones and friends. It is also a great time for all to sit back, enjoy fantastic entertainment and leave with smiles bigger than ever.
For lots of young people, this might be their first experience of live theatre. What would you say they can look forward to seeing in this year’s show?
Etheria: Just enjoy the fun and games of the Christmas panto with the best jokes, songs and dances, a flying carpet and villains fighting. There’s also the possibility of a young and sweet romantic story!
Edward: People can look forward to seeing genuine talent and amazing performers leading such a fun and exciting show. Produced by such a brilliant team – only the best for Tonbridge!
And finally, are you excited to meet our very excited Tonbridge audiences, who look forward to panto all year long?
Etheria: 200 per cent YES! I truly hope everyone will have the best time at Aladdin at the EM Forster Theatre.
Edward: I am SO excited to meet the Tonbridge audiences, I’ve been told they are the best so cannot wait to take to the stage for the people of Tonbridge!
Aladdin plays at the EM Forster Theatre this Christmas until December 31. Tickets are priced from £18 to £27. To book or find out more visit: www.emftheatre.com