Old friends and enthusiastic newcomers will be teaming up at Windsor's Theatre Royal this Christmas to bring this year's pantomine Aladdin to life.

Paul Nicholas - still fondly remembered for his hit TV show Just Good Friends - says he loves spending Christmas in Windsor and is looking forward to playing the evil Abanazar.

He says: "It's always fun playing the bad guy."

His 50 year career has taken him from the legendary 1960s rock musical Hair to being himself in the BBC documentary the Real Marigold Hotel.


Marti Webb is another panto veteran happy to return to Windsor - and is loving her costume of red and gold as the Empress Huawei. Her amazing career stretches from West End stardom in the 1960s in Half a Sixpence opposite Tommy Steele to another legendary show Tell Me On a Sunday written for her by Andrew Lloyd Webber, in which she sang the smash hit Take That Look Off Your Face.

Steven Blakeley has become something of a Windsor legend in the last 10 years, following in the footsteps of previous Windsor 'dames' who have developed a special link with the community. He writes as well as stars in the pantomimes.

Last year his contribution was honoured when co-star Kevin Cruise announced to the audience that it was his 10th anniversary as dame and he was presented with a tribute book full of photos signed by cast and crew.

Kevin Cruise is of the alterego of actor Martin Cabble-Reid - another veteran of the Windsor pantomime, reunited this year with the nation's favourite fox Basil Brush who is also becoming a Windsor panto veteran.

Martin and Basil teamed during the year for a very naughty 'adult' show at the Edinburgh Fringe - but family need not fear, they will be squeaky clean again in Aladdin.

The love struck duo in Aladdin are being played by newcomers to the theatre, recent graduates Joe Thompson-Oubari and Rhiannon Bacchus.

The show will run from Friday, November 29 to Sunday, January 12. You can book on theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk/aladdin or on 01753 853888.

*This year the theatre is bringing in a new innovation - a 'relaxed' performance of Aladdin on Thursday, December 5 at 1.30pm, aimed at families with children who have an autistic spectrum condition, or learning disabilities. This performance will have reduced lighting and sound levels with audience members allowed to come and go and extra staff on hand to ensure a safe, relaxed atmosphere. For more information visit https://theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk/whats-on/accessible-performances