THE Regal in Tenbury has announced the biggest and most expensive production ever to be staged at the venue.

This year’s pantomime Aladdin is the most ambitious challenge the Regal Tenbury Trust has undertaken since taking over the management of the venue in 2012.

The 'pro-am' production will have a mainly local cast, but is written and directed by Ben Crocker, the UK’s number one pantomime script writer, assisted by a local director.

Ben will also hold a pantomime master-class for the lucky performers who successfully audition for the numerous parts.

Set and costumes are being specially designed for this production by a leading professional theatrical supplier and the Regal’s patron TV magician Paul Daniels is designing some of the special effects.

This will be a multi-media production and will include film shot on location, around Tenbury.

The show opens on Monday December 22 and will run through to the end of the month.

“This production will be very challenging for us, but we are determined to create the best possible Pantomime within the limitations of the building,” said Ian Little, general manager at The Regal.

“We want to give the people of Tenbury and the surrounding area, something special to remember and by producing our own show we have absolute control over the quality.”

The pantomime will also include a troop of younger children from the town and surrounding area as well as a group of older students.

Ian Little added that there would be an opportunity for people to audition for roles in the production and there will also be a need for people that would like to help backstage in roles such as props and wardrobe.

“This will be a chance to performers and we will also be involving professional actors and actresses as appropriate,” Ian Little said.

“People do not have to live in Tenbury but we would like to cast the roles locally as far as possible.

“The requirement is that those involved are available during the run which is a long one by amateur standards. There will also be rehearsals but we do not expect to start too early.”

It is envisaged that initially there will be nine shows but there will be the option of adding a further two.

Ticket prices for the pantomime are still being determined and will go on sale later in the year

But it is hoped that this will just be the start.

Peter Drew, a trustee at the Regal, believes that the setting up of an in house team to perform and put on shows is a major step.

“We have long wanted to create the Regal Players to stage our own productions and this is the perfect opportunity to start something special,” he said.

Ian Little said that it is hoped that a Regal theatre group will fill a gap and enable people with an interest to have an opportunity to perform and go on stage.