Aladdin - the Pantomime

Director Tammy Calvert and Adam Cassidy

Firstly I must compliment the cast – it must have been very difficult playing to such a small audience, and on the first night, but they didn’t let it dampen their enthusiasm.  They really got into the swing of things, and I hope we managed to give them some sort of audience feedback so that they were able to tackle the remaining performances in good spirits.


The scenery was colourful and although fairly basic, suited the feel of the pantomime and the fact that the stage is very small!  The lighting was very good and suited the mood of the scenes.


The opening number was lively, it started a little tentatively but really got going in verse 2.  I know it was a bit daunting when faced with so few of us, but we were very appreciative!


Costumes were on the whole good – very colourful, hair needed to be a bit tidier and off the ladies faces as it makes such a difference, as audiences love to see faces.


I liked the choice of music, and the different words, all well-chosen to suit the cast and the pantomime.


The pace was a little suspect at times, cues needed picking up more quickly, but I’m sure that would have improved for subsequent performances.


For me the stand-out singing performance was Princess Lotus Blossom (Sabina Jackson) in both A Whole New World, and her later solo. Sabina has a nice clear voice, good diction, and she injected some expression into the songs, so well done


Josh Brewer took the acting honours as Wishee Washee – he kept the whole thing together and managed to inject plenty of humour into his performance.

We all loved the part where the rope broke whilst they cast was trying to pull the horse on, it may not have been intended to happen, but it was very funny, and Josh coped with it well!


I liked the opposing characters of Winnie and Minnie Wong.  Winnie (Donna Fletcher) was unfailingly cheerful, with a lovely smile and excellent projection, whilst Victoria Goode’s Minnie was the opposite, being slightly withdrawn and morose, which was a good contrast.  Victoria also projected well.


Maret Hakimov showed great improvement since Hi-De-Hi, in his portrayal of One Long Pong – he injected humour and energy, plus a little bit of nastiness against Aladdin – I was impressed.


Rob Tabone played a rather laid back Aladdin  - I thought he started off a little tentatively, but gained confidence during the performance.  Rob has a very expressive face, which he used well, and lovely twinkley eyes!


Malcolm Calvert gave us a very evil Abanazar, we all enjoyed boo-ing him, and he made the role very different to the other portrayals.  He died very well!


Graham Matthews was a forceful Emperor, I liked the contrast between him and his daughter and Aladdin – the different personas help to give a production light and shade.


Lauren Fletcher and Chris Fletcher as the Slave of the Ring and Genie of the Lamp respectively, both needed to face the audience more when they delivered their lines –they would have had much more impact if they had been front-facing after the flash heralded their entrance, as the flash itself was very bright and loud!


Rose and Maddie Taplin as the two Jewels were very sweet and appealing, and looked very pretty.


I thought the chorus were very enthusiastic, and I enjoyed what they did.

So all and all, a very creditable production with lots of enthusiasm, which left your small but appreciative audience feeling happy.


Review by Nova Horley - 24 January 2013

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