Rehearsals have come to an end and the curtain went up yesterday (Thursday) on the Portree Community Panto group’s latest offering, “Aladdin”. The traditional tale has been given a twist in this production, as Aladdin – played by Rebecca MacLeod – recovers the lamp and becomes rich beyond his wildest dreams, marrying Princess Yam Yam (Rachael Coll), the daughter of the Emperor of Peking. All is well until Abanazar (Ruairidh MacKenzie) tricks Yam Yam into handing the lamp over and kidnaps her into the bargain. Widow Twan Kee – a Mrs Meers style female villainess played by Nigel Wilson –kidnaps the Emperors nieces Ho Kee and Co Kee (Anton Randall and Gordon McCririck) and the villains flee, taking all with them using the washing machine in Twan Kee’s laundry that has been turned into a time machine by Catnip the Genie (Erin Shinnie). They travel to the 1960s, where Abanazar becomes his alter-ego, the villainous Dr Weasel...can Aladdin save the day? The production involves a total cast and crew of 110 people – including 80 youth members – and rehearsals at the Aros Centre this week went well, Lorna Cormack from the Portree Community Panto said. “Aladdin” had its debut at a performance for primary schools on Thursday morning before an evening performance at 7.30pm, with the same schedule today (Friday). Saturday will see a matinee performance at 1.30pm before the final show at 7.30pm. For more information call the Aros Centre on 01478 613649.