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Newbury's Christmas wish has been granted. Panto is back at the Corn Exchange, oh yes it is!

Bookings open for Aladdin

This is good news week for the Corn Exchange - oh yes it is! Newbury’s Christmas wish has come true... this year’s pantomime, Aladdin, will go ahead.

The Corn Exchange pantomime has become a tradition for families in the town and surrounding area, and the venue has been pulling out all the stops to make this year’s possible.

In partnership with Arena Seating, the auditorium seating will be rebuilt so the venue can increase capacity while adhering to social distancing measures. The new layout will provide more space between rows and each household group will be kept separate using dividing Perspex screens.

Last year’s Sleeping Beauty writing and directing team Plested & Brown – Clare Plested, Adam Brown and Amanda Wilsher – are back again with an anarchic and hilarious take on Aladdin.

Adam Brown, from Hungerford, said: “With so many shows being cancelled it’s a real privilege to bring a little Christmas magic to Newbury this year.

“With our hands washed and masks at the ready - we are super excited to get back into the rehearsal room.

“Expect magic surprises wrapped in an anarchic playful panto with a super dooper, temperature-checked cast.

“It’s about time we had a laugh this year don’t you think?!”

Corn Exchange director Katy Griffiths said: “The increase in capacity is what will make pantomime and future live events possible while social distancing remains necessary to keep us all safe. Everyone have been working tremendously hard behind the scenes and we are delighted to bring some panto magic to Newbury this Christmas.

She went on to say that this year wasn’t about trying to generate income, but bringing some vital Christmas cheer to the local community, especially with the return of Plested and Brown.

“Their enthusiasm along with the support of all our collaborators on this project has given us the confidence and determination to find a way to make Aladdin possible," she added.

Corn Exchange is following all industry and government Covid-19 guidelines. The pantomime cast will be in a bubble with regular Covid testing, audience members will need to wear masks throughout the performance unless they are exempt, and there will be Perspex dividing screens between households. Audiences can book with confidence, knowing that if they are unwell with Covid-19 symptoms or having to self-isolate their tickets can be transferred, credited to their account or refunded.

Aladdin runs at the Corn Exchange Newbury from Friday, November 27 to Sunday, January 3. For more information visit www.cornexchangenew.com/panto

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