Hackney Empire’s Olivier Award-winning Grande Dame of pantomime Clive Rowe is set to return to the East End stage for the theatre’s 2018 pantomime.
A landmark year for the panto, Rowe will play the Dame in writer and director Susie McKenna’s 20th anniversary production, which will see a new staging of the family favourite Aladdin, and will mark two decades at the helm of the now legendary show with composer Steven Edis.
Rowe will be making his Hackney comeback following his last appearance in Jack And The Beanstalk in 2015. He was recognised with an MBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list, and his extensive theatre credits include his Olivier Award-winning performance in Guys And Dolls (National Theatre). Rowe returns to Hackney Empire for his twelfth pantomime appearance.
During McKenna and Edis’ tenure the Hackney panto has grown to become one of the city’s most anticipated annual highlights and a champion for culture and community in the East End. Hackney Empire’s annual offering continues to attract record numbers year on year, locally, nationally and internationally, with more people from Hackney attending than ever before.
In the far off, far East Kingdom of Ha Ka Ney, on the outskirts of old Peking, young Aladdin dreams of finding love and making his fortune. When he discovers an enchanted lamp and meets a mysterious genie, it looks like all his wishes are about to come true – with the help of A Monkey Queen, tap-dancing pandas and his larger-than-life mum, can he win the hand of his Princess and save the world? Or will an evil magician, some mad-capped policemen and a very large pile of laundry stand in his way?
Aladdin will run from 24 November 2018 to 6 January 2019, with opening night for press on 5 December. Tickets are available through the Hackney Empire website.