Mansfield Hospital’s Theatre Troupe to stage Aladdin at town’s Palace Theatre

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Super troupers are ready to roll out their annual panto to raise pots of cash for good causes.

Mansfield Hospital’s Theatre Troupe has raised a whopping £116,000 since its first production in 1980.

Troupe chairman and panto director Trevor Morley said: “The whole aim of the society is to raise money for charities and worthy causes which support the local Mansfield community.”

Beneficiaries have included Kings Mill Hospital, the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, Links Club 2000 and Framework (The Homeless Centre).

This year’s panto takes the company full circle by revisiting Aladdin which was the troupe’s first panto at the Palace Theatre 36 years ago.

“The cast ranges from 13 years to past pensionable age!” said Trevor.

“We have six senior dancers from Happy Feet and seven junior ones, aged five to seven years. It is nice to get the youngsters involved and give them an opportunity to do live theatre.”

Jo Wilson, the principal of Happy Feet, is choreographing the show and Allan Ward is its musical director. Trevor said: “The age range is reflected in the musical numbers which range from George Formby’ to Lady Gaga and many in between.”

Rachel Best heads the cast as Aladdin, supported by Trevor Brownley as Widow Twankey, Sarah Clark as Princess Say Wen, Kyle Apark as Wishee Washee and Martin Killick as Abanazar.

Jill Broome, one of the longest-serving members, teams up with June Morley to play stupid policemen Hu-Dun-Pong and Yu-Dun-Wong.

The troupe was born after revues staged by doctors and staff at Mansfield hospitals to entertain fellow workers petered out in the late 1970s.

Around three thousand panto tickets are sold each year. Businesses also provide sponsorship to provide 50/100 tickets for local schools to see the show for free.

Aladdin opens at the Palace Theatre on January 24, at 2.15pm and continues January 26-31 at 7.15pm. Tickets £8 and £7 (concessions). Contact 01623 633133 or www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre.