18 January 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.

18 January 2017 – Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.


Is Belfast ready for the biggest theatrical event of 2017?

SSE Airtricity, The SSE Arena, Belfast and M & J Pantos have combined forces to announce Northern Ireland’s newest and biggest Christmas pantomime, THE SPECTACULAR ALADDIN, to be produced at The SSE Arena, Belfast in December 2017.

Bringing together an unprecedented team of all-Ireland creative talent, Aladdin will be led by Belfast’s own Dan Gordon and Martin Lynch as directors-in-chief. The design team will include LUMIERE, the Newry-based lighting designers who bring such a spectacular display of lighting to RTE’s THE VOICE.

Set Design will be by Claire Morrissey, most recently responsible for the prestigious Meteor Music Awards. Costumes will be by recently- returned Lisburn woman, Susan Scott who has dressed some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Meryl Streep and Alan Rickman. Northern Ireland’s most exciting young composer/arranger, Conor Mitchell (arranger for Marc Almond, Simon Callow, etc.) takes the Band leader’s baton.

Phew! What a team! And if all that isn’t enough, to lead the cast we are especially delighted to have secured the services of X-Factor singing sensation, RHYDIAN, playing the role of ABANAZAR, The Evil Baddie!

And we haven’t even mentioned Belfast’s latest, funniest Panto queen, Ross Anderson-Doherty, best known in recent years for packing them into The Waterfront Hall Panto will be making magic as the Genie.

Yes, the ancient, ever-popular tale of Aladdin is our chosen story to excite Belfast audiences in what promises to be the biggest, boldest and most spectacular Panto ever produced in Belfast.

Now for the last piece in the jigsaw that we believe will truly make this panto the theatrical event of the year: For the duration of the Panto, The SSE Arena, Belfast will be transformed into an intimate theatrical format. This open plan design will ensure our Panto isn’t restricted to an old-fashioned proscenium-arch stage but will enable us to bring Aladdin’s story right in among the audience (Look out behind you!).

An exciting new dimension to the Panto will be provided by our Media Partner, Q Radio. This will take the form of a warm-up disco before each show with Q Radio presenters seeking to ensure a great night out for all Panto-goers.

The SSE Arena, Belfast’s Event Booking & Development Manager Sharon McCrea commented, “We are always looking for new opportunities and Martin Lynch and Joe Rea were the obvious partners to turn the idea of a brand new Panto for Northern Ireland into a reality. We look forward to welcoming thousands of happy families, groups and schools to this year’s Panto.”

SSE Airtricity Sponsorship Manager, Leanne Sheill said, “It’s a fantastic fit for us. We’re always looking for ways to reward our loyal customers and through this partnership we’re able to offer SSE Reward members discounted tickets and money can’t buy experiences for this amazing show. We’re proud to support what we are sure will be Northern Ireland’s Panto of choice.”

Media Partner for the Panto, Q Radio Managing Director, Robert Walshe declared the staff of Q Radio were raring to go. “It’s a terrific innovation for M&J Pantos to throw in a disco before each show. Q Radio will ensure the party atmosphere will be nothing short of electric.”

And finally, co-producer Joe Rea, added, “Belfast has a great tradition of Pantomime. The market in recent years has grown, year on year and we are confident that with the amazing team we have put together, come December, The SSE Arena, Belfast will be rocking.”

Aladdin will be co-produced by Martin Lynch and Joe Rea for M&J Pantos.

Belfast will have seen nothing like it. Further cast members to be announced in due course.

The Panto will run for 29 performances ONLY, 14th – 27th December, 2017

For further information contact Joe Rea