EDEN Court’s Aladdin will not have to come from as far away as China for this year’s panto.
Instead the title role at the Christmas season’s biggest family show will be played by a comparative local, David Rankine from Elgin.
Rankine is already familiar with the stage at the Inverness theatre, having visited with the touring production of Over the Rainbow: The Eva Cassidy Story.
"I am very excited indeed to be playing Aladdin in a fantastic theatre like Eden Court," he said.
"I love panto and Aladdin is my favourite one! It will seem strange having seen pantomime at the venue to now be on stage in it, but I can’t wait.
"I have appeared in pantomime before, as Prince Charming in Cinderella, but Aladdin is going to be a lot different to that. He is a lively, fun, cheeky chap who gets in to lots of mischief. I am especially looking forward to having a go on the flying carpet."
It will end a busy year for Rankine, who has been in Stratford-Upon-Avon appearing as Master Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor at The Dell, and recently spent two weeks developing a new theatre project, The Library, with Frozen Charlotte productions.
He also spent three months using his knowledge of performance working as a drama workshop specialist with Out of the Darkness Theatre Company, which works with adults with learning disabilities with an interest in the theatre.
Steve Boden, managing director of Eden Court panto producers Imagine Theatre, said the company was delighted to have Rankine on board. "We were very impressed with him when he auditioned and he is going to be great as Aladdin," Boden added.
Rankine, who co-wrote and co-starred in the Play Pieces play B-Roads in Inverness last year, will be starring alongside Greg Powrie, who returns to dame duties at Eden Court as Widow Twankey, and Ross Allan as Wishee Washee.
The show runs from Tuesday 2nd December 2014 until Sunday 4th January 2015.