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Panto Cast under the spotlight: Ben Harlow

Ben Harlow, whose musical performances include Mamma Mia, Beauty and the Beast and Legally Blonde, will be playing the evil Abanazar in this year's Aladdin. We asked him a few questions about what he's most looking forward to for this year's pantomime.

Have you been in a pantomime before? What is your favourite thing about performing in one?
Yes, this will be my 10th panto, from Prince to Baddie, although at 6ft 6, I’ve yet to play the Beanstalk. This will be my first time playing Abanazar and as always, the best thing about panto has to be hearing the laughter from all ages.

Do you have any memories of being taken to see pantomimes as a child?
Yes, we’d always go to my local theatre, The Birmingham Hippodrome, and I was lucky enough to see such stars as Les Dawson, Ken Dodd and Cannon & Ball, funny, funny men. I loved the laughter and the chocolates!

What have you been doing this year to keep yourself creative? Have you taken up any new hobbies?
It’s been a difficult year for so many, I’ve been writing, running and I’m a super keen cook, so I have spent most of the year in the kitchen.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?
I always bring a pre-matinee Boxing Day turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich to eat!!!

What is your favourite Christmas song?
Has to be Driving home for Christmas by Chris Rea.

Thanks Ben, we look forward to seeing your meanest Abanazar!

Rub that lamp, make all your wishes come true and join us on a carpet ride adventure like no other in this year's socially distanced pantomime adventure. Find out more