THE curtain went up on the Newport panto Aladdin at the Riverfront last night.

The hero, played by the dashing Nickcolia King-N’Da, flew his magic carpet for the first of 57 shows and was joined onstage by two of the most popular cast members from last year, the lovable rogue Richard Elis as the Genie and Liam Tobin as the hilarious Widow Twankey.

Dafydd Gwyn Howells also joined the cast as the big, bad baddie Abanazar and there was light relief in the form of everyone’s best friend Wishee Washee played by Aisha Numah.

The beautiful princess Jasmine was played by the equally beautiful Jazmin Hudson-Owen and completing the cast was the wicked Empress Chinn played by Sunny Yeo.

The story of this year’s Aladdin follows lots of colourful characters who join the hero as he struggles to see that good is rewarded and that bad is punished.

There’s wicked Abanazar who tells everyone that he is the long-lost brother of Widow Twankey’s late-departed brother Dafydd.

There’s the beautiful Princess Jasmine and her slightly domineering mother the Empress Chinn. And at Suds-U-Like Laundry poor old Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee must wash a mountain of smalls for the Royal Wedding.

Did you see the opening night of the panto? What did you think?