Aladdin the all-time classic Christmas pantomime. This year’s production showing at the King’s Theatre in Southsea is an absolute Christmas treat. Running from 11th December to 5th January there is plenty of opportunities to catch this production over the festive period.
Boyzone’s Shane Lynch headlines this year’s production in the role of Abanazar alongside his sworn rival Aladdin (Daniel Slade) as they compete for riches and the hand of Princess Jasmine (Lucy Kane). Lynch’s stature and body language make him the perfect choice for the pantomime “baddie”.
Let’s not forget the man stuck in the middle of these two men the Genie performed by the talented Ben Ofoedu who certainly makes his entrance with a bang and his vibrant outfits throughout the production are dazzling.
When it comes to pantomime dames Jack Edwards in the role of Widow Twankey certainly is one that I’m not likely to forget. Complete with over the top costumes and large multi-coloured hairstyles to match he is absolutely fabulous.
On a couple of occasions Edwards appeared to pull things back together that seemed to go slightly wrong. However, I am not completely sure if these were part of the production as each time it happened the audience engaged with laughter which suggests it could be part of the act.
Scenic projects have created some fantastic scenery for this pantomime. The opening streets of Peking have an Acme feel about them where the houses are slightly curved and brightly coloured which makes them stand out as being in a cartoon style stage scenery changes into the luxurious setting of the Castle and the grounds surrounding it.
Aladdin’s magic carpet ride is an impressive display where he takes off from the stage and then comes up across the audience and then returns back to the stage again. During the whole performance, the stage is in darkness any magic that’s going on behind the scenes is kept hidden from the audience. Allowing the younger audience especially to suspend their disbelief adding a magical touch the performance.
As with many good pantomimes, this isn’t just a comedy production for the children there are many one-liners throughout this performance where the humour is aimed both at the adults and the children. The children engaging the subtle understanding behind what’s being said and the adults picking up on the actual meaning of what the characters have just said. It has been very scripted for all ages.
There is a very good reason why you are given 3D glasses for the second half. I am not going to give away the spoilers though. I can guarantee there to be a few surprises in it for every one created by Mark Thompson productions.
Director Mike Goble who is also performing in the role of the incredibly amusing Wishie Washie, along with his assistant director and choreographer Emma Anderson have come together to produce a very impressive traditional style pantomime. This is definitely one of the gems I have found in this season’s vast selection of Christmas shows on offer.
Photographs courtesy of Andrew Searle Photography.
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