Belfast Telegraph

Nathan Carter's brother Jake lands panto's Aladdin role

By Claire Williamson

Aladdin was his nickname in school and now Jake Carter is taking on the role for real in Belfast.

The younger brother of country music sensation Nathan Carter - Jake is no stranger to the limelight.

On Wednesday he gave a sneak peek of what audiences can expect at the first ever pantomime to be staged at the SSE Arena this December.

Speaking at the teaser launch, he told the Belfast Telegraph he can't wait to get started and that he'll be bringing his Scouse accent to the legendary role.

The Spectacular Aladdin will take audiences on a magical carpet ride guided by Northern Ireland's acting and playwright royalty Dan Gordon and Martin Lynch who are directing the show - and that is promises to have a few surprises to thrill audiences young and old.

It's a well-known family favourite which tells the story of the tough times for young Aladdin until his life is turned upside down when he falls in love with Princess Jasmine, who is played by singer and actress Nadia Forde. 

But of course in every story there is the baddie - and this one is played by X Factor's Rhydian as the evil Abanazer who tries to destroy Aladdin's dreams.

Northern Ireland comedian Nuala McKeever stars as the Empress - and Ross Anderson-Doherty as the Genie.

Rising star Jake Carter has been busy building a fanbase across the UK with his music which he describes as "pop with a hint of Nashville".

He told the Belfast Telegraph that while he hadn't done any acting before - it was a dream come true to be playing the role.

The 19-year-old was even nicknamed Aladdin in school because he was always tanned.

He said: "It's really great to be here. It's something completely different for me that I've never done before.

"It's a bit surreal for me in my first proper year of being in the industry but I'm really looking forward to it.

"I've never really done any acting but I was always into performing arts and when I was young I was an ugly sister a few times.

"I'm really excited about getting to it."

When asked about what to expect Jake said the show is on a massive scale.

"It's your normal Christmas pantomime but on a much larger scale," he said.

"It's in the arena so a much bigger atmosphere and it's really family orientated as well."

He recalled watching his older brother Nathan play the SSE Arena in March and thinking that he would be up there himself this Christmas.

"I knew then I was doing it, so it was a bit surreal watching him up there thinking I'm going to be on that stage for 2 weeks come Christmas."

He continued: "Aladdin was always a film we would have watched and in school my nickname, because I was always quite tanned, was Aladdin, so it's a bit ironic now that I'm actually playing the role of Aladdin."

Hailing from Liverpool, Jake says he hopes the audience will enjoy a Scouse Aladdin.

"I can't get rid of the Scouse accent and I do talk quite fast, so I will have to learn the panto way of talking.

"But I think a Scouse Aladdin will appeal to the audience as well."

Jake said his family will be coming for watch the show and that Nathan too is looking forward to coming down to see it.

"I always go to Nathan for advice. He lives with me and it works both ways," he added.

Director Dan Gordon said the other key member of the cast is the audience.

He said: "I'm very excited about it. It's a big thing for me to be involved in - it's massive and the first, I love firsts."

He added: "The audience are the extra character and it's going to be fantastic.

"We just want to hear you laughing and I can hear you smile - I want to hear you smiling."

The Spectacular Aladdin runs from December 14 - 27 at the SSE Arena Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph

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