TARA BRADY rubs shoulders with some of the cast of the show during a rehearsal
REHEARSALS are in full swing for Harrow Arts Centre's annual pantomime, Aladdin - a classic adventure that has stood the test of time for centuries.
The cast was chosen after a series of open auditions held in October and is made up of talented local people, some of whom have never been in a show before.
The story takes the audience on a rip-roaring adventure jam packed with magic, jewels, a flying carpet and the infamous genie.
Will the evil Abanazer convince Aladdin to enter the magic cave and fetch the lamp? And will Princess Lychee find the boy of her dreams?
Playing the part of Aladdin is Anton Phillips, 22, from Hanwell, who has not been involved in a pantomime before.
He says: "A friend told me about the audition and I wanted to get involved in more community projects and what better way than a community pantomime."
More than 1,500 people are expected to see the show this month, which is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for all the family.
Umesh Raichada, 42, and his daughter Karishma, 12, from North Wembley, Nisha Chadha, 47, and her daughter Nikkita, 16, from Ickenham, and Jennie Stone, 34, and her son Jacob Reeves, 14, from Harrow, are all taking part.
Nikkita, who plays the part of Princess Lychee, says: "I auditioned because I absolutely love watching pantomimes. "I thought this would be a great opportunity to see if I have what it takes.
"My mum and I are spending lots of lovely time together. I am having so much fun at the rehearsals that I look forward to them each week."
Umesh Raichada and his daughter Karishma read about the auditions in the local newspaper.
"I decided on the day to take part myself just for fun. I have never acted or performed in my life," he says.
"I am 42 years old and love to watch plays and films but it is the first time I have acted in something and I am enjoying every minute.
"Karishma has been on stage since the age of two. She has performed many dances for local charities like St Luke's Hospice in Kenton. She takes part in school drama productions and has lots of confidence.
"Both of us are really looking forward to having fun and entertaining the audience and we have such a great and enthusiastic team." * Performances of Aladdin will be held at Harrow Arts Centre, in Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, from Saturday, December 18 until Wednesday, December 22.
Tickets are £10 full price and £8 for concessions. A family ticket is available at £33.
Bookings can be made via the Harrow Arts Centre website www.harrowarts.com or by calling the box office on 020 8416 8989.