Writing a Genie-us Bespoke Aladdin Pantomime Script

In Spring 2023, Keiron and Matt at Cheltenham Playhouse got in touch with me to explore having a bespoke pantomime script written for their first pantomime at the venue.

Cheltenham has a large commercial pantomime at the Everyman Theatre, and they wanted to provide a more affordable alternative for families in the local area.

Find out more about how I created a brand new script from scratch. And scroll down to see pictures of the results.

The Brief

The brief was to create a hyper-local script with references from Cheltenham Racecourse, to parking difficulties outside the theatre.

Plus a good mix of humour for children and adults alike. After all, the children need to enjoy the show they see, but it’s the adults that will keep buying the tickets and (hopefully) decide to come back year after year.

Writing

So I set about creating a concept treatment including a character list, scene list, detailed synopsis and notes on production.

We relocated Aladdin to the magical realm of ‘Cheltenhamania’ and agreed that the creative team would cast an inclusive mix of performers from different backgrounds.

Characters

We had fun discussing the evil Merlot (a descendant of the wizard Merlin who couldn’t come up with a better villain name for himself).

Then there was the genie of the lamp played by local legend The Singing Policeman. Which I incorporated into the script – a device that provided lots of fun including a re-lyricing of the Rocky Horror Show classic ‘Sweet Transvestite’ as ‘Singing Policeman’.

Our Twankey was an entrepreneur who setup her own business ‘Twankey’s Knick-Knackery’, a brick-a-brack style second hand shop where all sorts of treasures await. Including, of course, a magical lamp!

Production

The team at the theatre created a brilliant flying carpet contraption involving a mobility scooter and some black fabric!

I really admire Keiron and Matt’s entrepreneurial spirit. They had big ambitions for their first panto and have built a fantastic foundation to grow their audiences year on year.

Production Pictures

What’s next?

I’m already booked to write a brand new bespoke Cinderella this year for a professional theatre, plus I’m lining up the premiere of a new Treasure Island script for amateur groups. More on that soon… 

There’s still plenty of titles to be added to my collection, like Goldilocks and the Three BearsMother Goose and PinocchioGet in touch if you’re interesting in a premiere!

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