Filipino theater actor Joaquin Pedro Valdes is set to join New Theatre Peterborough’s pantomime rendition of “Aladdin” this Christmas.

Hailing from London’s West End, Valdes will play as “Aladdin” in a magic carpet journey to Old Peking. 

English comedian and actor Rufus Hound will also join the production as the evil Abanazar, along with other stars yet to be announced.

Sharing his thoughts about his participation in the upcoming production, Valdes said: “It is quite humbling to know that I get to work during the holidays especially after the year that we’ve had.” 

“In many parts of the world, the pandemic isn’t over yet. So to be able to work and work, doing what I love and bringing joy to so many families is truly a miracle,” he added.

Joaquin Pedro Valdes (right) as Ram Sweeney in “Heathers”

Valdes is currently performing as Ram Sweeney in “Heathers The Musical,” where he made his West End debut. The production started running on June 22.

Outside the theater, Valdes is into various athletic activities, including bodybuilding, CrossFit, scuba diving, swimming, ultimate Frisbee, and weight training. Being into these activities has helped him embrace his jock character in “Heathers.”

“My track in ‘Heathers’ is very physical. I’m dancing, rolling, tumbling, and just on high gear all the time. It feels like a CrossFit workout!” he exclaimed, citing the importance of strength, stamina and endurance in the role he is currently portraying.

Prior to “Heathers,” Valdes appeared as John Safford Fiske in “Fanny and Stella: The Shocking True Story,” marking his first London musical. The production ran from Aug. 3 to 25, 2020, at The Garden Theatre. 

Playing Lun Tha in “The King and I”

It is the first new musical staged in London since the COVID-19 pandemic when the British government re-allowed the staging of open-air presentations.

Other musicals where Valdes appeared include “The King and I” (2019-2020), “Miss Saigon” (2018-2019), “Matilda” (2017), “Kinky Boots” (2017), “The Last 5 Years” (2014) and “Spring Awakening” (2009).

He also appeared in other stage productions, namely “Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike” (2017) and “Red” (2013). He also performed in video productions such as “Called” (2020) and “Niño” (2011). 

Apart from acting, Valdes brings with him extensive experience in other aspects of theater and film production. He served as a director, a camera operator, a video editor, and a workshop leader.  

He has been honing his craft since the mid-1990s, undergoing training at Repertory Philippines (1995-1997), TRUMPETS Playshop (1997-2001), University of the Philippines Department of Film and Audio-Visual Communication (2002-2009) and New Earth Academy in London (2020).

“Heathers The Musical” is running until Sept. 11 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Valdes, meanwhile, is also looking forward to his upcoming project, though some parts of the preparation are still uncertain at the moment. “For ‘Aladdin’… I don’t know yet. Can’t say until we start rehearsals in December,” he said.

“Aladdin” will run from Dec. 15 to 30 at New Theatre Peterborough in Peterborough, United Kingdom, produced by Red Entertainment in association with Prime Pantomimes.

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