NOT even the genie in the lamp could save a pantomime from being cancelled just days before the curtain was due to go up.
Hadleigh Amateur Dramatic Society's (HADS) production of Aladdin – already hit by Widow Twankey's broken leg, wild weather stopping rehearsals and last minute venue changes – finally came off the rails on Friday 13 when Princess Lychee succumbed to a nose, ear and throat infection.
Peter Finch, of HADS, said: "There was no coming back from this one and we had to cancel. We rushed around trying to find an understudy but sometimes you have to take it on the chin that the show just won't go on."
He said everyone who bought a ticket would get full refunds and theatre members would be on the door to tell people who hadn't heard the news.
"We have written 'cancelled' over all the posters in the region but some people are bound not to hear.
"I would like to say how very sorry we are that this has happened but we really had no choice," he added.
The pantomime was hanging on a knife edge before Princess Lychee called in sick when Widow Twankey, played by Ben Warner, suffered a horrific leg break.
Despite this he turned up with his leg in plaster prepared to perform the part in his wheelchair.
HADS is not letting the doomed production hold them back and plans are already underway for productions in the spring and autumn and a pantomime next year.
Aladdin was due to be performed at Hadleigh Town Hall tonight, tomorrow and Saturday.