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Production images released from Hackney Empire's production of Aladdin

Casting news

PRODUCTION images have been released from Aladdin, Hackney Empire’s landmark 20th anniversary Christmas pantomime. To view them, click here.

Previously Posted: Full casting has been announced for Aladdin, Hackney Empire’s landmark 20th anniversary Christmas pantomime. Written and directed by Susie McKenna, it runs from November 24, 2018 to January 6, 2019.

Joining previously announced Clive Rowe and Tameka Empson are Gemma Sutton (Gypsy, The Rink) in the title role, Julie Yammanee (Spamilton, Here Lies Love) as Princess Ling Mai and Empire regular Kat B as Genie of the Lamp.

Completing the cast are Empire stalwarts Tony Timberlake as Abanaza and Tony Whittle as Sergeant Dumplin’, Natasha Lewis as Genie of the Ring, Alim Jayda as Dishi, Michael Lin as Constable Aki and Ollie Corbett, Jonathan Norman, Saori Oda, Jacqui Sanchez, Monica Swayne and Dale White in the ensemble.

The production will also feature Sharon D Clarke as the voice of Gaia, The Goddess of Light.

Gemma Sutton last appeared at Hackney Empire playing The Girl in Susie McKenna’s Blues in the Night in 2014, and will return to make her Hackney panto debut this Christmas. Her television roles include Beryl Marsden in ITV’s Cilla, Tasha Wright in BBC series Doctors and as a soloist for BBC 2’s West Side Stories. She is also set to appear in the National Theatre production of Follies next year.

Sutton’s previous stage credits include June in Gypsy (West End and Chichester Festival Theatre), The Rink (Southwark Playhouse), The Go Between (Apollo Theatre), Carousel (Arcola Theatre), Legally Blonde (West End), Sweet Charity (Watermill Theatre), A Christmas Carol the Musical (LMTO), Strictly Ballroom (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Toronto), Chicago (Leicester Curve), Hairspray (UK Tour), Oklahoma! (UK tour), Gone with the Wind, Imagine This (New London Theatre) and summer seasons at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

Julie Yammanee most recently appeared in Spamilton (Menier Chocolate Factory). Her stage credits also include Lazarus (King’s Cross Theatre), Priscilla Queen of The Desert (international tour), Here Lies Love (National Theatre), Avenue Q (UK tour), The World Goes Round (Yellow Glass Theatre) and Rapunzel (Theatre Royal Stratford East).

Kat B is a familiar face to Hackney Empire audiences following numerous appearances including as the Ugly Sister in last year’s Cinderella and previously in Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, Mother Goose, Puss in Boots, Dick Whittington, Cinderella, The Wiz and A Christmas Carol. Kat B is best known for MTV Base where he has presented shows around the world. His film and television credits include Waterland and Street Wise (BBC) and the Richard Blackwood Show (Channel 4). He is also the resident host of the Real Deal Comedy Jam and a regular on the Jongleurs Circuit.

Aladdin will have production design by Lotte Collett, musical direction by Mark Dickman, choreography by Richard Roe, lighting design by David Howe, sound design by Daniel Higgott, assistant direction by Matt Dempsey and creature design by Scott Brooker.

Image: Clive Rowe, Tameka Empson, Julie Yammanee and Gemma Sutton in Hackney Empire’s 20th anniversary pantomime Aladdin.

Tickets: From £10 – £38, concessions available. Groups of 10+ discount available at certain performances. To book, call 020 8985 2424 or visit

NB: Children under 14 years need to be accompanied at all times by a paying adult.