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The 2011 family pantomine at Milton Keynes Theatre was Aladdin, starring Gareth Gates, Paul Burling and Nicola Brazil.
With Genies by the lamp-load, belly-busting comedy, a selection of chart topping songs, bags of family fun, audience participation, a boo-able baddie and, just maybe, a real flying carpet – this was the biggest, best and funniest pantomime ever!
MKFM went backstage to meet the cast - check out our exclusive interviews with Gareth and Paul here:
PAUL BURLING INTERVIEW
GARETH GATES INTERVIEW
More about the pantomime
Pop and musical theatre star Gareth Gates, fresh from his critically acclaimed role in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Miserables culminating at the London Barbican, will be taking panto-goers on a magical carpet ride this Christmas in the title role of Aladdin. In this years fun-packed family pantomime at Milton Keynes Theatre (09 Dec – 15 Jan) brought to you by First Family Entertainment , Gareth will be joined by the hilarious 2010's Britain's Got Talent finalist Paul Burling as Wishee Washee . Paul became a firm favourite with judges and public alike for his side- splitting comedy routines, most memorably his uncanny impersonation of Harry Hill. With further star cast still to be announced prepare yourself for pure panto genie-us!
Gareth Gates as Aladdin
Since catapulting to teen idol status back in 2002 in the original Pop Idol , Gareth has enjoyed a succession of number one singles , including his version of Unchained Melody,the 2nd best selling single of the 90's and his success hasn't stopped since. In 2008 Gareth donned the sequins and lycra to take part in the hit TV show Dancing on Ice, before making a change in musical direction by accepting the lead role in Joseph And His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - an ideal start to his theatrical career. During this time Gareth also tackled his first pantomime as Prince Charming, in Cinderella at the New Wimbledon Theatre. In 2009 Gareth wowed audiences up and down the country as he took the role of Marius in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Miserables. This mammoth 10-month tour played to sell out audiences across the UK before 22 special performances at the Barbican in London, the show's original home in 2010. Gareth recently finished playing Marius in the West End production of Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre.
Gareth tells us he can't wait for panto season to begin and says "I'm really looking forward to playing Aladdin this year and bringing lots of fun and laughs to the stage at Milton Keynes Theatre. There's nothing quite like a good traditional Panto to raise a smile and bring the family together at Christmas! "
Paul Burling as Wishee Washee
Like many panto legends Paul Burling began his career as a holiday park entertainer, quickly becoming recognised as one of the finest comedy personalities on the circuit. Over the years Paul made a name for himself across the UK through tours, variety shows and corporate events, winning talent competitions including Search for a Star and Blackpool's Talk of the Coast. His debut TV appearance saw him win ITVs early talent show Pot of Gold. An experienced and talented voice over artist, Paul can also be heard on the radio waves up and down the country. No stranger to Pantomime, Aladdin will be Paul's fifteenth consecutive show! In 2010 Britain's Got Talent cemented twenty years hard work for Paul, giving him the platform to showcase his talent to the nation. Last Christmas Paul could be seen on prime time ITV in It's Paul Burling and has since toured the country in the Britain's Got Talent national tour. Paul's next TV appearance will see him steal the show on the BBC show The Slammer, due to be aired in September on BBC1.
If it's magical family entertainment you're hoping for, your wish is our command! Make sure you join Gareth and Paul at Aladdin at Milton Keynes Theatre. Book your tickets today at Milton Keynes Theatre Box Office, call 0844 8717652 or visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes (booking fee applies)