Review: All-star cast, magical music and jokes aplenty has audience on their feet dancing at Aladdin pantomime
PUBLISHED: 15:51 21 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:52 21 December 2017
Pantomime season is under way in Lowestoft with the magical tale of Aladdin and his lamp flying onto the Marina Theatre stage.
This year’s cast features an all-star line up with politician Ann Widdecombe as the ‘respectable and delectable’ Empress of China, boyband heartthrob Mark Read from A1 as Aladdin and everyone’s favourite funnyman Terry Gleed back in the role as Wishee Washee.
Despite the fact the audience was largely dominated by children, the script contained plenty of jokes for us adults too and genuinely had me laughing all the way through.
Set in Old Peking, the show came complete with a creative set, colourful costumes and plenty of upbeat live music.
Fenton Gray did a great job as Widow Twankey, mother to Aladdin and Wishee, and as expected she paraded a variety of weird and wonderful costumes which changed for most scenes.
Widdecombe was an extremely fierce empress, throwing in lots of political jokes, and I particularly enjoyed watching her dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
There was an extremely noisy but entertaining scene in the first half where six of the cast played instruments out of tune much to the enjoyment of the audience, later followed by an equally funny scene where Aladdin and Wishee were chased by PC Pong and PC Ping around the theatre seats.
Mia Richards played a great Princess Jasmine and Deearna McLean sparkled as Spirit of the Ring - both showing off their beautiful voices.
Nick Brittain and Thomas Mann as PC Ping and PC Pong had the audience in stitches, with Darren Clewlow-Smith receiving plenty of boos and hisses as the evil Abanazar. The Genie of the Lamp was played by Aaron Spendelow, decked in sequins, and my only criticism is that we didn’t see him enough on stage.
The performance to Night Fever as the genie was released from the lamp in the cave was full of energy and colour, backed up by the talented young dancers from the June Glennie School of Dance.
The magic carpet scene made the audience feel like they were in a video game, with Read performing Take on Me while flying through the sky.
The cast had everyone on their feet dancing at the end, and certainly sent me away with a smile on my face.
Aladdin runs until January 1 at the theatre. For more details and to book visit www.marinatheatre.co.uk