PANTOMIME season is back with a bang as families flock to theatres following a pandemic-enforced closure of the performance industry last year.

And the situation is no different a Colchester’s Mercury Theatre, which this year is raising the curtains with a magical version of the classic tale of Aladdin.

The show is the first pantomime in the theatre’s new building, which came about as part of the £11 million Mercury Rising revamp project.

Bosses and performers alike are now celebrating the return of pantomime season once more.

The Mercury’s creative director Ryan McBryde 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.

“This Christmas we’re presenting Aladdin, a story of joy and transformation to delight and warm the hearts of our audiences at this festive time of year.

“In this version of the story, Aladdin is a street busker with aspirations to be a rock star so there’ll be music from Queen, Journey, Bon Jovi and The Script.”

The panto opened on Friday and will run until January 16. For tickets, go to