The Lakeland Players make their long awaited return to the Ardhowen stage this January with their latest fun-filled offering, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The much-loved pantomime describes the story of poor woodcutter Ali Baba as he mistakenly unearths the treasure of the villainous Forty Thieves, led by the murderous Al Raschid. In a return to the stage following his performance as the fearsome Fleshcreep in Jack and the Beanstalk, Ian Blackford performs the titular role of Ali Baba, and is joined on stage by perennial panto dame Mark Allen, who delights as the flirtatious and playful housekeeper Cascara.

Alongside them, another character that is sure to have the audience in stitches by the end of the show is the idiotic Tinbad the Tailor, played by Joey Burns. However, in every pantomime there must be a villain, and this comes in the form of the menacing Al Raschid, played by Dave Rees. He is aided by the not so menacing Hanki Panki and Jiggeri Pokeri, who are brought effortlessly to life by the duo of Stephen Watson and Wayne Moohan.

The show is once again directed under the watchful eye of Stephen Kettyles along with assistant director Marian Haggins. Musical director again this year is Attracta Flanagan. When asked about the show, Stephen said:

“The show as always has something for everyone, from corny jokes to the impressively choreographed dance routines from our children’s chorus. We aim to make each show better than the last, and we know this one won’t disappoint!”

Other impressive performances come courtesy of Sarah Phillips and Ben Kettyles, who provide the show with its young love interests, whilst the snooty Kassim and Rhum Baba, played by Julian Fowler and Catherine Bradley, attempt to stop Ali Baba from gaining his riches. This always popular show is guaranteed to banish the January blues!

Ali Baba runs form the 10th of January through until the 19th of January. A number of shows are already sold out and tickets can be purchased form the Ardhowen Theatre box office now.