Three magical Christmas wishes for King’s panto

Picture by Ian Watson
Picture by Ian Watson

FAMILIES will be flocking to the King’s Theatre this week for the start of panto season (all together now: oh yes they will!).

The city centre theatre has gathered its usual band of stars for an exotic tale of far off lands, genies and magical wishes.

Of course, Widow Twankey’s there too (oh yes she is — last one, I promise).

The story is Aladdin, with the title character played by Kieran Brown, and his princess, Jasmine, by Jenny Douglas.

Comedienne and Kings staple Karen Dunbar is the Slave of the Ring, and radio man Des Clarke is the loveable — if loopy — Wishee Washee.

And Gordon Cooper is on top panto dame form as Widow Twankey, leaving his ugly sister from last year’s Cinderella (Still Game star Gavin Mitchell) as the rank bad yin Abanazar.

The role of the genie falls to 2010 X Factor constestant Justin Vanderhyde, who has been cutting his acting teeth on the stage since with roles in Peter Pan, Jack and the Beanstalk and Clockwork (to name a few).

It’s Justin’s first time in Glasgow, and the city’s panto fans may be less than gentle with their genie — but he’s looking forward to it nonetheless, commenting: “Everyone has been so welcoming.

“It’s going to be hard work but worth it when you see the audience enjoying the show.”

The magical being isn’t far wrong; with a run until January 12, the cast of Aladdin have some hard graft ahead — but it’s safe to say that there’s lots of fun too, for actors and audience alike.

Aladdin opens tomorrow (December 6) and show times vary. Tickets are £9-£29.50 from 0844 871 7648 or