Latest news / 25 January, 2018

Ashley Banjo & Diversity to star in Southend’s Genie-us next pantomime, Aladdin!

Southend Cliffs Pavilion have announced that Ashley Banjo and Diversity will star in Southend’s next must-see pantomime Aladdin, from Friday 14 December 2018.

Ashley Banjo is a dancer, choreographer and creative director. He is the founder and leader of dance group Diversity who won the third series of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. Aside from the group’s achievements Banjo has presented and appeared as a judge on a host of primetime entertainment programmes and documentaries for ITV, BBC and Sky 1. He has recently made his debut on the much-anticipated brand new series of ITV’s Dancing on Ice.

Innovative dance group Diversity, a household name since 2009, have achieved worldwide success including 7 sell out UK arena tours and are currently planning their 10 year anniversary tour for 2019. The group also have countless iconic television performances to their name including 3 performances at The Royal Variety Show, a host of exclusive performances on Britain’s Got Talent and 3 of their own primetime ITV shows, Diversity Live, Diversity Presents Steal The Show and most recently A Night for the Emergency Services to name but a few.

Ashley and Diversity made their pantomime debut for producers Qdos Entertainment in the critically-acclaimed production of Dick Whittington at the London Palladium which saw them share the iconic West End stage with Julian Clary, Elaine Paige and a host of star names as the Sultan and his advisors, wowing audiences and critics with their incredible footwork and jaw-dropping routines.

Ashley and Diversity will star in Southend’s 2018 pantomime as the Genies of the Ring, the nimble-footed group charged with changing the fortune of Aladdin and helping him to outwit the evil Abanazar. Aladdin will once again be produced by Qdos Entertainment.

Managing Director of Qdos Entertainment and Aladdin’s Executive Producer Michael Harrison said: “Ashley and the boys have proved to be absolute naturals at pantomime with their stunning routines and stage presence. I can’t wait to have them back in pantomime and impressing Southend audiences with their routines and working with them to create some real magic live on stage.”

Having just finished another hugely successful panto season, which saw over 54,000 people attend performances over a three-week period, Theatre Director Ellen McPhillips warmly welcomed the confirmation of the stars for the next pantomime. “Ashley Banjo and Diversity are extremely popular and will be a sure-fire hit with audiences of all ages. There is a huge tradition of pantomime attendance from Essex audiences and I am confident that they will be just as excited as we are at the prospect of this cutting-edge and thrilling dance troupe being in Southend for Christmas this year!”

Tickets for Aladdin are already on sale, with the show running from Friday 14th December and are already well-ahead of sales at this point last year.