ALADDIN, Birmingham, To 31 01 16

Birmingham Hippodrome

Runs: 2h 40m, one interval, to Sunday 31 01 16
Tickets: 0844 338 5000

Review: Alexander Ray Edser, 21 12 15

Bigger, brasher, and better than ever.
Birmingham Hippodrome opens up its seasonal box of tricks and this year out pops a brash, fast-paced ALADDIN. A seasonal pleasure and a theatrical treat.

Already there is a strong sense of a team; you sense a strong connection between the players and they score points off each other with wicked glee.

The show is driven along by a triumvirate of naughty but nice comedians. Each is a skilled performer, each with their own unique style. Julian Clary, The Slave of the Ring, whizzes along in his own laid back manner of comedy. His pantomime double-entendres are delivered with his own special slant; adults understand them, some children do, some don’t – so no harm done and lots of laughter. Andrew Ryan delivers a superb Widow Twankey, a performance to match the frocks, delivered with great verve. Matt Slack gives us Wishee Washee. This is his third year at the Hippodrome and he is most welcome back. He drives everything along with huge, unrelenting energy, but his special ingredient is the bridge he builds to the young (and older) in the audience. He is, at heart, a child himself; the mercurial timing of a skilled comedian combined with the innocence of a clown.

The other undoubted star of the show is the box of magic tricks. Whether it is lighting, sets, explosions, 3D, sound, gigantic puppets, the band, or a magic carpet that loops the loop with two passengers on board (how do they do that?) everything delights in its own self, a delight transferred to a most enthusiastic audience.

It’s all very sharp, with production values that truly match a full-scale West End musical. The performance company and we, the audience, merge in one tremendous ensemble.

(Credits to follow).

2015-12-23 16:12:48

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