Panto Stars Visit The Animals At Dudley Zoo

Aladdin panto stars, Joe McElderry and Lucy Kay, enjoyed some free time meeting the animals at Dudley Zoological Gardens this week.

The musical pair are currently appearing in the seasonal show at Wolverhampton Grand and had a fun morning touring the zoo site and feeding some of the animals, alongside dancer Katrina Ridley, before they headed back for the matinee performance.

Joe and Lucy, who play Aladdin and Princess Jasmine in Wolverhampton’s biggest ever pantomime, helped keepers to feed some of the zoo’s resident animals. They won the affections of the Giraffes and in particular, the Lemurs. They also got to visit the zoo’s 85 penguins, the meerkats and tour the Reptile House.

The Castle Hill attraction is sponsoring this season’s pantomime and in December hosted the dress rehearsal performance where they invited local clubs, children’s centres and organisations who have supported the zoo over the past 12 months to join as VIP guests. Media and Communications Officer, Rachel Hickman, said:

“Joe, Lucy and Katrina were keen to learn more about our animals and our work at the zoo, so we were delighted to show them round and we also organised a special meet and greet for them to feed our giraffes and ring-tailed lemurs.”

Grand Theatre Press & PR Manager, Scott Bird, added:

“It was a lot of fun touring the zoo with the cast of Aladdin. Both our pantomime and the zoo offer families the opportunity to spend quality time together.

"Having celebrated the theatre’s full refurbishment in 2016, and with Dudley Zoo’s upcoming 80th birthday this year, there are plenty of exciting reasons to families to visit both.”

Aladdin has received more 5 star reviews than any previous pantomime at the theatre in recent history.  The show also stars actress and Loose Woman, Lisa Riley, as Slave Of The Ring, Doreen Tipton as the Lazy Empress of China, and CBeebies’ Ben Faulks as PC Pong.

It runs until January 22nd, so there’s just over a week left to buy your tickets through the Box Office on 01902 42 92 12, by visiting in person or online at


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