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Hundreds hope they have the magic to star in Aladdin panto

YOUNG hopefuls from across Dublin turned out in their dancing shoes in a bid to secure roles in this year's Olympia Panto, Aladdin.

Some 600 children aged from seven to 17 joined the queues outside the Dame Street theatre to impress producer Stuart O'Connor yesterday.

It was the first time in four years that the production put out the open call for youngsters to try out.

Ten youngsters from the ShowBizKidz stage school were close to the top of the line as the doors opened.

Niamh Marry (15) said landing a part would be "unreal". "I love Louis Walsh and Hometown - Dayl is my favourite."

Walsh is an executive producer for the show and his newest boyband will feature in the glitzy production.

The decision to hold the open auditions - which were in association with the Herald - was easy, according to producer Stuart O'Connor.

"We always get great kids from all of the schools but every now and then it's good to open it up and get a fresh crop of talent," he explained.

Darren May (13), from Ballyfermot, told the Herald how he did the splits and a cartwheel. His energy was rewarded as he exited through the stage door clutching a slip inviting him to return for call backs.

"I just wanted to drop to the floor when I got it - it was amazing," the elated dancer revealed.

Linda Martin and Simon Delaney are also billed to star in the funny tale this Christmas.

Grace Curtis (8) came from Naas with her dad Declan.

"She is constantly dancing. Even if you're trying to talk to her at home she will be spinning around the kitchen," her dad said.