ARE we ready for panto? Oh yes, we are!

The dazzling cast of the Mercury Theatre’s new panto Aladdin has officially been released.

The stars of the Colchester production include James Hameed as Aladdin, Danielle Kassaraté as Princess Jasmine and Sasha Latoya playing the Genie of the Lamp.

The panto has been written by Andrew Pollard, with direction from the theatre’s creative director Ryan McBryde, the team behind the Great British Pantomime award-winning Cinderella.

Mr McBryde said he was looking forward to the opening night.

He said: “This will be our first pantomime in the new building after a three year hiatus and we just can’t wait to welcome audiences back.

“Pantomime is our biggest, brightest show of the year, where our community comes together to experience the magic collectively.”

In this version of the story, Aladdin is a street busker with aspirations to be a rock star, with music featured from Queen, Journey, Bon Jovi and the Script featuring in the performance.

Colchester panto favourites Antony Stuart-Hicks and Dale Superville are back on stage and are sure to provide laughs with Antony playing Widow Twankey and Dale Humphrey the Camel.

This will be the theatre’s first pantomime back in the newly-refurbished building after three years following the extensive overhaul through the £11.3million Mercury Rising project.

Following its reopening, executive director Steve Mannix said: “This is a venue has been built for local people by local people and, against all the odds, we have been able to keep going.

“People really value the Mercury Theatre.”

Aladdin is flying into the Mercury from Saturday, November 27 and the show will run until Sunday, January 16.

Tickets can be purchased at the theatre box office, by calling 01206 573948 or online by going to