Audiences heading for Bournemouth’s pantomime at the Pavilion this Christmas will find Yellow Buses’ specially-branded vehicle just the ticket.
For the single-decker is emblazoned with the faces of the stars of Aladdin – including television’s Richard Blackwood and Amelia Lily.
The bus will be running on all routes across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in the run-up to the panto and duration of the show itself, from December 7 to January 5.
And the Bournemouth-based, locally-owned bus company’s mascot Buster Bear was on hand to meet the cast at the theatre and on a short journey.
Aladdin stars actor and rapper Richard Blackwood as Abanazar, X Factor and Celebrity Big Brother finalist Amelia Lily as Spirit of the Ring, and Bournemouth panto favourites Noel Brodie and David Ball as Wishee Washee and Widow Twankey.
Richard is best known recently for playing hardman Vincent Hubbard in EastEnders from 2015 to 2018, followed by ITV’s Dancing on Ice last winter.
Aladdin, sponsored by Pier Approach bar and restaurant Hot Rocks, is being staged by the same team behind the hugely successful production of Cinderella last year.
The laugh-out-loud story of Aladdin’s spectacular adventures is likely to play to packed houses and includes stunning scenery and, of course, a flying carpet.
Fiona Harwood, Marketing and Sales Manager of Yellow Buses said: “Yellow Buses is very much part of the fabric of Bournemouth and the Pavilion’s traditional family pantomime is at the heart of the community we serve.
“Therefore, we didn’t have a moment’s hesitation before dressing our first panto bus. We will also be running our special open top Christmas bus for our passengers to experience the sparkling Christmas lights in November and December.”
The bus is among a fleet of 10 community inspired vehicles produced by Yellow Buses for particular organisations or occasions.
Tia Thorp, BH Live Product Marketing Manager, added: “We are trying to get as many people exploring the arts as possible and this bus will help to spread the word right across the conurbation and help us build audiences across all age groups.
“We are grateful to Yellow Buses for their support. It is another excellent example of how businesses in Bournemouth can work together for the common good. And remember, catching a bus is way to get to the panto.”
Yellow Buses was acquired by its management team – David Squire, Managing Director; Simon Newport, Commercial Director and Phil Pannell, Service Delivery Director – from RATP Dev in a management buyout in July 2019 for an undisclosed sum.
This years range of fun Christmas activities at Bournemouth’s Castlepoint Shopping Park are to be launched by Cinderella panto cast members on the evening of Thursday 24th November at 5 pm. With a snow machine adding to the magic, Cinderella Dani Harmer, The Prince, Rhydian Roberts from X factor, and ugly sisters David Ball and Michael Chance will launch the activities with the help of Santa Claus and officially switch on the Christmas lights.
50’s favourites, including R&B jive and bogie will be performed within a concert by Miss Annie and the Midnight shift whilst Cinderella and the cast meet the public and Santa Claus meets the children. There will be stilt walkers, roller skating baubles and Christmas bells and fun characters from Christmas and fairy tales along the East and West malls.
Bill Riddle, Operations Manager at Castlepoint, said that the launch will also announce a series of activities and demonstrations throughout December that will create a special period of joy and festive merriment to the UK’s largest Shopping Park.
“We will be creating a special atmosphere to get the festive season underway. There will be lots to see and do within our retail stores with demonstrations from various specialists and artists and also the opportunity to win a range of prizes in our 12 days of Christmas count down competition,” said Bill. “Many of our stores will extend their late night opening policy to 9pm from the 1st December to help shoppers get those special presents.”
Full information available on the launch night or from www.castlepointshopping.com