PANTO season is a long way off but an arts venue has already announced an ambitious challenge for its seasonal show.

The Regal in Tenbury Wells will stage its biggest and most expensive production ever when Aladdin directed by Ben Crocker, the UK’s number one pantomime script writer, opens in December.

It is the most ambitious challenge the Regal Tenbury Trust has undertaken since taking over the management of the venue in 2012 but the production will mainly have a local cast.

Mr Crocker will hold a pantomime master-class for the lucky performers who successfully audition for the numerous parts, with audition dates to be announced next week.

The set and costumes are being specially designed for this unique production by a leading professional theatrical supplier, and Paul Daniels, the Regal’s patron, is designing some of the special effects.

The venue's general manager, Ian Little, said: “This production will be very challenging for us, but we are determined to create the best possible pantomime within the limitations of the building.

"We want to give the people of Tenbury and the surrounding area, something special to remember and by producing our own show we have absolute control over the quality.”

Aladdin opens on Monday, December 22 and runs until the end of the month.

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