Socially distanced panto to launch in time for Christmas, organisers say

A socially distanced pantomime with sofas replacing rows of seats for the audience will open in time for Christmas, organisers say.

Aladdin – A Genie-us Pantomime stars Union J’s Jaymi Hensley as the Genie and will take place inside a big top tent in the grounds of the Luton Hoo Estate, from December 15 to January 3.

Instead of a “traditional” setting, organisers say rows of seats will be replaced by sofas suitable for up to four people and with enough space to maintain distance from other patrons.

Jaymi Hensley
Jaymi Hensley

The coronavirus pandemic continues to cause uncertainty around mass gatherings and theatres are unable to open at full capacity.

Andy Mills-Brown, a producer on Aladdin – A Genie-us Pantomime, said: “We would love to be working with theatres this year but as that just cannot happen at the moment we decided we would do our utmost to ensure the great British institution that is the traditional Christmas pantomime, can go ahead.”

He added: “It will be different, there’s no question about it, but we feel this is the most sensible and exciting way to be able to stage a pantomime that people will feel safe and comfortable at and most importantly, enjoy.”

Tickets for the panto are on sale now.