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Rehearsals in full swing for the Corn Exchange’s panto

The cast of this year’s Corn Exchange panto, Alladin, are currently rehearsing their parts, after all necessary Covid-19 precautions have been put in place.

All the preparations are being made to start the public performances on 3rd December – the day after the second lockdown is planned to end. (See our previous article about local theatres with respect to the lockdown). The panto should carry on until January 3rd 2021.

This year the Corn Exchange have announced a talented cast that will have families of Newbury and beyond in panto-stitches. Hungerford born George Olney will play Aladdin and Philip Elvy and Ben Barrow return, having delighted audiences in last year’s Sleeping Beauty. Philip Elvy is back as the dame, this year playing Widow Twankey, and Ben Barrow (last year’s secret prince, Tony the Phoney) plays the Genie. Joining them are Ben Harlow as the evil Abanazar, Susan Harrison as Wishee Washee, Nikita Johal joins as Princess Jasmine, Emily Mae as Celia Siri and completing the cast are William Beckerleg and Gleanne Purcell Brown.

This year’s pantomime is written and directed by Plested and Brown (Adam Brown, Clare Plested and Amanda Wilsher) who wowed Newbury last year with Sleeping Beauty and audiences can expect all the traditions and magic of pantomime, plus a few extra surprises, in this funny, fresh and anarchic take on Aladdin.

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. 

Tickets are £26 – £20 (£20.50 – £18.50 for Super Saver Performances, £26 – £25 for Adult Nights). Book your tickets online at, or via the Corn Exchange Box Office at 0845 5218 218 (calls cost 2p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge).