REVIEW: Aladdin draw big laughs and audience participation
PUBLISHED: 15:13 01 January 2015 | UPDATED: 15:13 01 January 2015
St George’s Theatre
This colourful production puts the launderette-based panto on a spin cycle that jumbles everything together in a giddy whirl.
The result is a brilliant mix of panto action that is awash with fun.
The small cast easily fills the stage with never a dull moment, great sets, lovely costumes and a few magical surprises along the way – thanks to Paul Daniels.
In director Gavin Dean’s capable hands Aladdin has leapt to the top of my panto favourites after languishing at the bottom well behind Cinderella (next year’s offering).
It is a lavish show for a small theatre with a great mix of songs that everyone can sing-a-long to.
Anyone trying to avoid this year’s ubiquitous Frozen will be disappointed but Clare Durrant as Aladdin does a belting job on the blockbuster number that chimed well with the sprinkling of Elsas and Annas in the audience.
There was only one I didn’t know and I was reliably informed by nine-year-old Melissa that it was Ariane Grande’s Popular – so definitely something for everyone, including Pharrel Williams’ Happy which had everyone clapping and jiggling in their seats.
Many of the jokes revolved around Widow Twanky’s smalls and her big plans for a new lingerie line - which thankfully sailed safely over the children’s heads.
In the best tradition not all the jokes hit their mark but those that are on target draw big laughs and plenty of audience participation.
Just about every element you would expect in a festive show is included making for a busy, fun production, that doesn’t try to be too clever or meddle with the formula.
The panto look is spot on and there are some super technical touches along with some of the stalwart routines like the bench scene. Watch out for the Pooloo bear!
The arrival of the camp genie (Queenie?) is a magical moment, and Ash Bovington soon had the audience eating out of his hand.
Dave Higgins as the villainous Abanazar corners the market in sneering disdain while the selfie-taking, phone-fixed Slave-to-the-Ring rolls her eyes with a teenage indifference the audience enjoyed. A round of applause also for the Nabjab dance ensemble who are a delight. With plenty of local flavour, a few pops at Lowestoft and dollops of toilet humour what’s not to like? This is a sparkling production set in a gem of a theatre which deserves to do well.
There is still time to book your tickets which are great value for money. We all left with big smiles on our faces.
The show runs until January 4. Booking via 01493 331484 or www.stgeorgestheatre.com.
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