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British film icon Patsy Kensit to star in 2022 Christmas Pantomime, Aladdin

LHK Productions and The Atkinson have announced Patsy Kensit/font> as the star of their 2022 Christmas Pantomime, Aladdin. The British icon, who started her film career at the age of 4, will be granting wishes as:- The Genie of the Lamp at the Southport Theatre in an action packed festive production of the much loved family friendly classic, from:- Thursday, 8 December 2022.

Aladdin tells the legendary rags to riches story of a Chinese street urchin who falls in love with a beautiful princess. Sent into the cave of wonders by the evil Abanazar to fetch an old oil lamp, Aladdin soon discovers its home to an all powerful Genie, which he unintentionally releases with a rub of the lamp.

Director of LHK Productions, Lee Kelly said:- "We cannot wait to return to The Atkinson this Christmas and working with Patsy Kensit is a real dream come true. The whole panto cast and crew are so excited to start rehearsals and to bring some festive fun to Southport for another year running. Patsy is a huge asset to this year's production, and we can't wait to watch her bring the beloved Genie to life."

With a long list of Hollywood roles to her name, including:- The Great Gatsby and Lethal Weapon 2, the multitalented star topped the charts in the 1980's with her pop band, Eighth Wonder and their three popular hits Cross My Heart, Baby Baby and I'm Not Scared.

As a staple on our TV screens in the 00's, Patsy has starred in some of the nation's favourite soaps including:0 Emmerdale and Holby City and was more recently seen joining the open-top bus procession on the Queen's Platinum Jubilee alongside fellow British icons such as Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.

As a source of inspiration to many, she is now a motivational speaker and writer and currently lives in London. She has two sons who she believes are her greatest achievements.

Patsy said:- "I'm really looking forward to taking to the stage in Southport and having lots of fun with my fellow cast members. It's set to be a fantastic show for all the family and I'm excited to don my costume and transform into The Genie of the Lamp to grant some special wishes this festive season."

Joining Patsy on stage in this year's show is a fabulous cast of panto pros, including Merseyside Dancer and Actor Dominic Gore, who's set to charm audiences as the quick witted hero Aladdin, talented singer Mia Molloy playing the beautiful Princess Jasmine and Southport's very own Tom Burroughs, who will deserve all of the boos as he embodies the primary antagonist, evil Abanazar with his malevolent mind and wicked games.

Pantomime regulars, the hilarious Michael Chapman and Lewis Pryor, will captivate audiences once again and have them laughing out loud as Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee and local broadcaster Claire Simmo will dazzle as the Spirit of the Ring.

This year's show will run from December 8th to the 31st and host a variety of accessible performances, from captioned shows to relaxed environments.

Marie Kenny, Programme Manager at The Atkinson added:- "Welcoming families, friends, and panto enthusiasts alike into the theatre throughout the festive period is at the heart of our purpose here at The Atkinson. With the talent of our incredible cast, our aim is to take our audiences on a magical carpet ride and encompass a truly enchanting atmosphere which compliments the festive spirit of Christmas."

Will Aladdin overcome the evil Abanazar and be free to marry his Jasmine? Will the Genie of the Lamp gain her freedom? Will Widow Twanky and Wishy Washy get the laundry done in time?

Go on a magical carpet ride at The Atkinson this Christmas in a panto extravaganza for all the family.

It's a family affair for latest Film Office investment

FILMING has just wrapped on the latest production to receive vital investment from Liverpool Film Office's Film and TV Production Fund.

Head of Liverpool's Film Office, Lynn Saunders, said:- "With its unique brand of humour, Liverpool has been the cradle of some legendary TV sitcoms over the years including:- The Liver Birds, Bread and Watching. Hot from their Derry Girls success, we're delighted to welcome Jimmy and the Hat Trick team to the City with a new show that keeps the gags and punchlines flowing whilst at the same time dealing with some potent emotional issues. It's been a long wait, but The Family Pile finally puts the Scouse sitcom back on mass audience prime time where it belongs."

'The Family Pile'
is a brand new ITV prime time comedy set in Liverpool and tells the story of 4 sisters who have lost their parents and are packing up the family home to sell. It stars Amanda Abbington (Sherlock, Mr Selfridge), Clare Calbraith (Downton Abbey), Claire Keelan (Nathan Barley), and Alexandra Mardell (Coronation Street). Kieran O'Brien, Richard Pepple and James Nelson Joyce round up the cast.

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member responsible for Liverpool Film Office, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:- "Since the Production Fund launched in 2019 it has been a runaway success; we've produced award-winning dramas, supported local talent, created jobs, improved skills and had a positive economic impact across the City Region. It continues to go from strength to strength and The Family Pile is an exciting addition to the stellar list of funded productions. It will be fantastic to see some of that renowned Scouse humour on the small screen."

The 6 part, 30 minute long show is produced by Hat Trick Productions (Derry Girls, Stuck) and has been written by Liverpool born Brian Dooley, who previously won a BAFTA for his work on BBC3's The Smoking Room. The show is executive produced by Angela Sinden alongside TV comedy legend and Walton born Jimmy Mulville.

Filmed across the Liverpool City Region, the producers created a full-size family home interior set inside the now empty Pensby High School for Boys, on the Wirral Peninsula. Other locations included exteriors in Crosby and Bebington.

Executive Producer Jimmy Mulville said:- "The Family Pile was the 1st time we'd produced a series entirely on Merseyside and I can tell you it won't be the last. Chris Moll and Lynn Saunders at Liverpool Film have been hugely supportive, the script by the brilliant Brian Dooley was full of Scouse heart and humour, the cast and crew were magnificent and if there were any Liverpool fans on the show they kept it very quiet so all good. See you soon!"

The Family Pile is the 1st sitcom that the fund has supported, adding to an impressive investment portfolio that includes recent acclaimed dramas:- The Responder, Time, Help and The Ipcress File.

As well as spending a significant proportion of the show's budget on local crew and businesses, the production has also provided a number of high quality training and professional development opportunities for up-coming talent in areas such as costume, make up, production accountancy and camera grips.

Managed by Liverpool Film Office, the fund is supported by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority's Strategic Investment Fund. Since the fund launched in 2019, it's estimated to have delivered more than £12 million of direct inward investment into the Region's economy.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:- "Our Region is a vibrant, innovative hub of creativity and talent. Through devolution, we can direct investment to help it continue to grow and flourish. That is exactly what we have done by pumping millions of pounds into the LCR Production Fund, which has led, in turn, to more than £12m of wider investment in our Region. Our heritage, architecture, talent and people mean that we will always be able to attract film and TV productions from across the globe, but I think it's also important to nurture:- local projects, promote local Writers, Directors and Actors and help showcase them to the rest of the country, and beyond. The Family Pile looks set to be the latest in a long line of local productions doing exactly that."

For more information visit the official Film Office Liverpool website.


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