Latest news / 23 May, 2019
Hull New Theatre has announced that Blue star Simon Webbe, Benidorm favourite Jake Canuso and film and television legend Robin Askwith will embark on a magic carpet ride into Old Peking for this year’s spectacular annual pantomime, Aladdin, from Thursday 5 December.
Since joining the BRIT award-winning boyband in 2001, Simon Webbe and his bandmates have sold over 14 million records worldwide, releasing five critically acclaimed studio albums and headlined several UK tours. In 2011, to coincide with their tenth year in the music industry, Blue represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest with their entry I Can. While the group took a well-earned break, Simon launched his own solo career that saw him take to the West End stage in Sister Act the Musical alongside Shelia Hancock and Whoopi Goldberg, as well as Three Little Pigs at the Palace Theatre.
Simon’s numerous television appearances include Strictly Come Dancing where he was a runner-up in the 2014 series; I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and ITV2’s The Big Reunion. In 2015, Simon made his pantomime debut for Qdos Entertainment and since then has starred in Jack and the Beanstalk in Northampton and High Wycombe, and Aladdin in Bradford last year. In 2018 he released his third studio album, Smile and still regularly tours with his Blue bandmates.
Joining him as the Genie of the Ring will be Benidorm’s bartender Jake Canuso. Best known for his role as Matteo in the long-running ITV comedy, Jake most recently visited Hull in the sold out UK tour of Benidorm Live which saw him reunite with many of his much-missed co-stars. Jake’s other television credits include Splash!, Hustle, Shameless, The Hour and Bad Education. He also appeared in the hit movies Nine opposite Daniel Day Lewis and Judi Dench, and The Dark Knight Rises alongside Christian Bale and Gary Oldman.
Also joining the line-up as the evil sorcerer Abanazar is film and television star Robin Askwith. A regular on the big screen throughout the 70s Robin went on to appear in numerous television shows including Public Eye, Dixon of Dock Green, Z-Cars, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and, most recently, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Benidorm. His extensive stage work includes numerous farces including Run for Your Wife, One for the Road and Dead Funny, and the title role in Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Starring as Aladdin’s brother Wishee Washee is comedian Neil Hurst. Best known for his roles in The Syndicate and Fresh Meat, Neil was also a co-host of ITVs All Star Family Fortunes, and most recently starred alongside John Malkovich and Rupert Grint in The ABC Murders for the BBC. Neil most recently appeared at the Hull New Theatre in Fat Friends The Musical to audience and critical acclaim.
Janice Wincott, Theatre and Halls Manager, Hull Culture and Leisure said: “we are thrilled that in this, Hull New Theatre’s 80th year, our hugely popular festive production will feature such a star-studded cast. Aladdin is a firm family favourite and this incredible line-up is sure to delight all our audiences from seasoned attendees to first time visitors.”
With tickets flying out of the Box Office, audiences shouldn’t leave it any longer to book their tickets for this year’s must-see production packed full of audience participation, laughter, music, a wish-granting genie and plenty of panto magic.