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Runs: 2hr 30min One interval: till 3 Jan.
Review: Alan Geary: 2 December 2015.
This one deserves to pack them in
This Aladdin was a treat for everyone except people who don’t like treats. It has everything in abundance and more – super song and dance, talent and glamour, marvellous sets and special effects, slapstick and verbal comedy, amazing costumes and oodles of audience involvement.
Song and dance is helped out splendidly by local companies Stage Door Academy of Dance and Theatre and The Academy of Dance. There’s a fine tap number done to the tune of Lord of the Dance, and a wonderful routine performed in blue costumes by Princess Jasmine and Co.
As the Princess, Gemma Naylor gives the stand-out performance. Little wonder that Aladdin (Chris Edgerley) is smitten with her. She’s an excellent singer and actor, and glamorous in a variety of outfits – everyone’s costumes all through the show are spectacular.
There’s the welcome return of the messy routine – they’ve been absent in recent pantos. This one’s set in the laundry run by Widow Twankey (David Rumelle). And there’s the sweet-throwing spot. Perhaps it’s something to do with health and safety, but these days they seem to come in packets rather than singly.
The down at heel but evil Abanazar, who has nothing to do with health or safety, is done by Philip Martin Brown, who’s particularly good in the new lamps for old scene.
The panto has lots of action in the auditorium. Twankey makes her first appearance through the stalls, and there’s plenty of chasing up and down the aisles.
It was partly the enthusiastic noise of the matinee audience, partly, presumably, the sound balance, but for too much of the time everything was over-loud. A lot of the best one-liners were lost in the din; a pity because Andrew Ryan’s script is packed with them.
Your connoisseur of corn might appreciate the one about Widow Twankey’s Notts County bra – “No cups and very little support”. As is routine at this venue, Chesterfield and Shirebrook also get it in the neck; so does the Nottingham pantomime. But it’s all good fun.
This one deserves to pack them in.
Abanazar: Philip Martin Brown.
Genie of the Lamp: Conor J Barrie.
Slave of the Ring: Helen Petrovna.
Aladdin: Chris Edgerley.
Wishee Washee: Mark James.
P C Pong: Frankie Rogers.
P C Ping: Stephen D Allanson.
Widow Twankey: David Rumelle.
Princess Jasmine: Gemma Naylor.
Emperor: Duncan Drury.
Chinese People: Josh Crowther, James Morgan, Abigail Robinson, Lauren Siddall, Ellie-Rose Walker and Kerry-Anne Woodhead.
Village Children from Stage Door Academy of Dance and Theatre and Academy of Dance.
Director: Anthony Williams.
Lighting Designer: Dai Evans.
Choreographer: Andrew Simeon.
Musical Director: Martyn St James.
Written by: Andrew Ryan.
Adapted by: Anthony Williams.