Review: Aladdin, Dennis Lowe Theatre Company, The Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe, to January 7
- Credit: Archant
This has always been one of director, choreographer and script reviser Suzie Lowe’s favourite pantos. That love came across on stage.
The relatively small cast put on a show that was full of energy from the get go and rarely let up.
Focused squarely on family fun, with the odd moment for mums, dads and grandparents; this was a traditional pantomime. There was even a principal boy, not something you see often these days.
There were no gimmicks, no star names, just lots of heart. The fun they were having was infectious. You couldn’t help but smile and join in.
A packed Spa was taken a on magic carpet ride to Old Peking where Aladdin falls for Princess Jasmine. Getting in the way of true love is the wicked sorcerer Abanaza - the very boo-able John Whelton - who tricks Aladdin into helping him find a magic lamp. That’s when the adventure really begins.
The young hero needed all our help to win fame, fortune and the girl. Luckily, the audience couldn’t wait to get involved. For a first show crowd, they were wonderfully loud - booing, hissing, cheering and clapping throughout.
Youngsters were jumping up and down in their seats during the traditional ghost scene, yelling “it’s behind you”. The sing-along to Wiggly Woo was just as much fun, with the little ones not invited on stage dancing in the aisles.
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The staging was simple but effective. There were some nice set-pieces including Wishee Washee’s mishap in the laundry, a surprising encounter in the cave and the final battle with Abanaza.
It was funny, sung and danced well, with a nice mix of songs thrown in.
The cast were good, particularly Jan Needle as the Slave of the Ring and Nathan Cant as Wishee Washee; the latter’s fast-paced recap bit earning a well-deserved round of applause. Stephen Lawrence’s dame Widow Twankey really came into his / her own when chatting to young audience members.
Being the first show, it wasn’t perfect. It could’ve been tighter in places and there were a few, small technical issues; chiefly mics dropping out here and there making it hard to hear. That said, you couldn’t wish for a more family friendly show. You can even pick up tickets for next year’s panto Sleeping Beauty.