'I want to hear those boos' says Aladdin panto star Steven Serlin ahead of Stevenage show

Aladdin pantomime stars Stuart Nurse and Steven Serlin answering calls at the Gordon Craig Theatre box office.

Aladdin pantomime stars Stuart Nurse and Steven Serlin answering calls at the Gordon Craig Theatre box office. - Credit: Martin Smith / Origin8 Photography

Pantomime performers love to hear the audience clapping and cheering.

However, Steven Serlin will be hoping to hear boos – lots of them in fact – when he takes to the stage at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage this year in panto Aladdin.

He has been cast as the evil Abanazaar in the show from the team behind 2019’s award-winning production of Beauty & the Beast.

After playing comedy roles, Steven loves being the villain in panto at Christmas. 

So much so, he was nominated for Best Male Baddie at the 2018 Great British Pantomime Awards.

“From someone who does a lot of comedy characters in other things, it’s brilliant that I don’t have to try and get laughs,” Steven tells me from the Lytton Way theatre’s Green Room during our Zoom chat.

Aidan O'Neill as Wishee Washee and Steven Serlin as Abanazaar will appear in Gordon Craig Theatre pantomime Aladdin.

Aidan O'Neill as Wishee Washee and Steven Serlin as Abanazaar will appear in this year's Gordon Craig Theatre pantomime Aladdin. - Credit: Martin Smith / Origin8 Photography

“Even though I am ‘comedy baddie’, there’s no pressure because you are just going to get booed all the time, and that’s what I love. You’re never gonna win!

“So I make sure that I tell the audience as soon as I come on stage that you must boo me. 

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“Otherwise I just don’t think I’m doing my job if I don’t get booed every time I come on stage.”

Regular West End performer Steven appeared in hit musical Heathers at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, this summer.

Following the closure of theatres during the pandemic, he was delighted to be back on stage as Kurt’s Dad and Principal Gowan.

Steven Serlin as Abanazaar and Claire-Marie Hall as the Princess in this year's Gordon Craig Theatre pantomime Aladdin.

Steven Serlin as Abanazaar and Claire-Marie Hall as the Princess in this year's Gordon Craig Theatre pantomime Aladdin. - Credit: Martin Smith / Origin8 Photography

“The first month we were socially distanced, so it was only a third full,” said Steven.

“But weirdly the Haymarket, which is a beautiful theatre, still felt quite full.

"That was very emotional, the first night coming back after 15 months. And we had a kind of second wave when we were at capacity a month later, so we had this new, second opening.

“It was crazy hearing that roar of just under a thousand people.”

As for Jordan Productions’ panto Aladdin, it will be his Gordon Craig Theatre debut. 

Steven said: “I haven’t performed here before and I’m looking forward to it.”

Aladdin will run at the Gordon Craig from Friday, November 26 to Sunday, January 23, 2022. 

Book your favourite seats at www.gordon-craig.co.uk or call the box office on 01438 363200.

Steven Serlin will play Abanazaar in Gordon Craig Theatre pantomime Aladdin.

Steven Serlin will play Abanazaar in Gordon Craig Theatre pantomime Aladdin. - Credit: Martin Smith / Origin8 Photography


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