Lewis set for panto stage

Lewis Denny
Lewis Denny

An Alnwick performer who lit the town’s cauldron with the iconic Olympic Torch in 2012 is all set to star in a Newcastle pantomime.

Lewis Denny will tale on a comic role in this year’s Newcastle Panto Company’s production of Aladdin at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, which opens tomorrow night.

The 19-year-old has spent the last three years training at Newcastle Sage Academy Performance Arts Centre.

He said that he got involved with the show this year after ‘jokingly’ saying the company should include him.

“As the previous panto season approached last year, I said, ‘you better have me in next year’, and here I am now,” he said.

“They completed the line up earlier in the year and I couldn’t wait to get started.”

Mr Denny plays the role of Constable Pong and is part of the ‘comedy cops’ duo alongside Gary Walsh as Sergeant Ping.

Speaking about the role, he said: “Pong is the sillier one of the two, who doesn’t really know much and gets hit around the head with Ping’s truncheon on a regular basis.

“I’ve loved rehearsals as the whole team have had to work together in such a short time. A week-and-a-half to put on a performance can be quite difficult, which it has been, but hopefully the hard and intense work will pay off.”

The actor describes the show as a “very traditional pantomime”, which is set in Peking, where Aladdin falls in love with Princess Jasmine, The Empress of China’s daughter.

The Empress, played by veteran singer Lorraine Crosby, wants her daughter to marry a rich man so Aladdin enlists help from the genie to become rich and try to win her heart.

The panto runs until Wednesday, December 30.