Rhyl Pavilion Theatre audiences are in for a treat this festive season as they are transported to Peking for a true panto spectacular, writes Terry Canty.

Emmerdale’s Jonathan Wrather explodes onto the stage, greeted with obligatory boos and hisses to his delight.

The former soap star’s portrayal of Abanazar may be playful, but this baddie not only doesn’t make it onto Santa’s good list but would also be included on a list of those unsavoury characters barred from the Woolpack!

He is accompanied in opening scenes by Loula Geater as Slave of the Ring, whose fantastic singing voice combines with a cockney sparrow demeanour and wit owing more than a little to the Carry On movie characters of yesteryear.

In the title role David Perkins does a great job in winning over the audience and getting them to support his campaign to wed Princess Jasmine (Gemma Naylor), whose charm is matched only by her fine rapping skills.

Superb comedic support comes courtesy of Tom Whalley as the hapless PC Pong and Simon Jessop, who as well as directing this year’s panto plays Widow Twankey with great enthusiasm – revelling in the saucy seaside postcard humour and obligatory over the top outfits.

For the seventh year running Sean Jones steals the show and wins the hearts of the audience as Aladdin’s mad cap brother Wishee Washee. His antics with PC Pong in the slapstick Washmatic 6000 sequence was a stand-out moment.

There were fantastic performances from the Villagers, Lewis Kelly as the Genie of the Lamp, Graham Martin as the Emperor, and local talent from North Wales Schools of Dancing and The Gay Harris Dancers – threatening throughout to unleash their version of Baby Shark to thrilled younger audience members.

Aladdin not only boasts great performances and a sharp, funny script packed with gags referencing everything from Brexit to Bodelwyddan, but stunning sets and superb scene changes which weave throughout the production.

Add impeccable lighting, sound, special effects and soundtrack from a wonderful live orchestra, and you have all the ingredients for a festive live theatre treat not to be missed.

For tickets call the box office on 01745 330000 or visit www.rhylpavilion.co.uk