ALADDIN, by Mark Clements with original songs by Paul Herbert, Salisbury Playhouse, Salthouse Lane, SP2 7RA
Runs: 8th December 2010 to 8th January 2011
16/12/10 10:30AM/2:15PM; 17/12/10 10:30AM/7:00PM; 18/12/10 2:15PM/7:00PM; 20/12/10 2:15PM/7:00PM; 21/12/10 2:15PM/7:00PM; 22/12/10 2:15PM/7:00PM; 23/12/10 2:15PM/7:00PM; 24/12/10 1:30PM/5:30PM; 27/12/10 2:15PM/7:00PM; 28/12/10 2:15PM/7:00PM; 29/12/10 2:15PM/7:00PM; 30/12/10 2:15PM/7:00PM; 31/12/10 1:30PM/5:30PM; 1/1/11 2:15PM; 3/1/11 2:15PM; 4/1/11 2:15PM/7:00PM; 5/1/11 2:15PM/7:00PM; 6/1/11 2:15PM/7:00PM; 7/1/11 2:15PM/7:00PM; 8/1/11 2:15PM/7:00PM
BSL interpreted performance
Wednesday 5 January, 7pm
Audio described performances
Thursday 16 December, 2.15pm
Thursday 6 January, 2.15pm & 7pm
Box Office 01722 320333
Running Time 2 hours 35 minutues
Review Mark Courtice, 9th December 2010
Tradition’s alive and well in Salisbury
As guardian of the traditional family panto, Salisbury Playhouse offers a good opportunity to see how the soap star free, non-smutty seasonal treat is faring in a world of X-factor and suddenly unemployed victims of a Coronation Street train crash.
Well, the good news is that traditional fun is alive and kicking, but is perhaps showing the strain. Maybe it’s a sign of the straitened times that the glitter seems less liberally applied, and the script sometimes misses the tone of the cheerfully transgressive and ends up pointlessly vulgar.
However, Mark Clements gets in plenty of topical references and some awesomely feeble jokes in a neat and effective telling of the traditional tale.
There are some committed performances; John Addison’s Aladdin has energy and he sings well, Mark Anderson tries hard with Wishee-Washee, bonding with his young audience. Alan French as Widow Twankey is waspishly glamorous if not particularly audience-friendly, and there’s fun from Kyle Lima’s groovy Genie. Sophie Ragavelas imbues the Slave of the Lamp with energy and more than a touch of Essex girl.
Caroline Leslie’s production sometimes perhaps sacrifices warmth for clarity, so isn’t as spectacular as some, but Karan McKeown’s cartoonish designs are full of colour. It’s fun that the auditorium is bedecked with washing, and there is particular pleasure in the detail in the splendid dragons at the entrances to the stage and the Widow’s successively wilder headdresses. There is a good flying carpet making effective use of ultra-violet.
From spiky beginnings, Paul Herbert’s music warms up so the show ends with a succession of belting numbers, seized on with relish by a cast who really can sing.
Aladdin John Addison
Wishee-Washee Mark Anderson
Widow Twankey Alan French
Abanazar Alexander Giles
The Emperor Michael Hobbs
PC Chop/Genie of the Lamp Kyle Lima
The Slave of the Ring Sophia Ragavelas
Princess Jasmine Emilia Williams
Director Caroline Leslie
Designer Karen McKeown
Lighting Designer Peter Hunter
Musical Director Niall Bailey
Sound Alex Twiselton
Choreographer Lee Crowley