IT’S panto season – oh yes it is!

Nothing quite says Christmas like pigs in blankets, dodgy secret Santa presents and, of course, the much-loved, quintessentially British past-time of the pantomime.

The curtain is up on Aladdin which runs at the Albert Halls, Bolton, until New Year’s Eve.

READ MORE: 5 reasons to see Aladdin pantomime at Bolton's Albert Halls

The drama may have started off stage last month when Ray seemingly vanished from the Christmas lights switch on, when Jenny Ryan – from The Chase and The X Factor: Celebrity – was added to the bill at the last minute.

But the Dancing on Ice winner was present and correct as the main man and makes for a fantastically fun and cheeky Aladdin. 

Chuck in some vocals that demonstrate why he was a worthy runner-up to powerhouse Leona Lewis on 2006’s The X Factor and all the ingredients are there for a panto star.

Producers Polka Dot Pantomimes promised dazzling costumes and they really did deliver. From Widow Twanky’s outrageous frocks to the emperor’s impressive cloaks and Princess Jasmine’s gorgeous gowns, the wardrobe department have really gone to town. Glitter, sequins and glamour galore.

Set within Bolton’s magnificent Town Hall and starring some familiar faces, this fantastic show is on the doorstep. Bolton born-Graham Edgington – one half of 2010 Britain’s Got Talent finalists Father and Son - stars as the Emperor of China and shines with a solo song in Act One. 

Jon Holling, the voice of Tower FM’s breakfast show, gets the audience booing as a suitably menacing Abanazar.

The sign of a good panto is fun for all the family and Aladdin ticks all the boxes. I took my 19-month-old son who happily watched the show (with a few snacks as bribes) and there was a woman in the audience celebrating her 90th birthday.

The primary school children squealed with delight at the potty jokes, water pistols and Steve the Unicorn.

The energy never wanes as the talented cast swiftly moves from dance number to song to audience participation. Simon Hannah, as Wishee Washee, performs some fab ventriloquism.  They may be near the start of the 48-show run but if they can keep the tempo going all the way to New Year’s Eve, then families are sure to leave with smiles on their faces.

The Albert Halls, Bolton
Until New Year’s Eve

Tickets are on sale, starting at £16. Visit or call 0843 208 0500.