Review: Ipswich Regent panto Aladdin gives audience a pre-Christmas boost

This weekend the cast of Aladdin brought pantomime back to the Ipswich Regent stage 

This weekend the cast of Aladdin brought pantomime back to the Ipswich Regent stage - Credit: Paul Clapp

After a year's break due to Covid, Christmas panto made it's triumphant return to the Ipswich Regent Theatre stage this weekend packed full of jokes, circus stunts and flamboyant costumes. 

Despite the worries around coronavirus at the moment, the theatre was packed full of families soaking up the festive atmosphere. 

X-Factor runner up Marcus Collins was the Genie of the lamp at the Ipswich Regent

X-Factor runner up Marcus Collins was the Genie of the lamp - Credit: Paul Clapp

The cast of Aladdin, starring X-Factor's Marcus Collins, weren't afraid to mention Covid and within seconds there was a nod to 'alleged' parties at Downing Street last year. 

As you might expect, throughout the show the jokes didn't stop coming - sadly many at the expense of Ipswich Town fans. 

But better than the jokes was the ad-libbing, if a cast member forgot a line it certainly wasn't glossed over. 

Nic Westaway as Aladdin on the Ipswich Regent Stage

Home and Away Star Nic Westaway as Aladdin on the Ipswich Regent stage - Credit: Paul Clapp

Taking the lead role of Aladdin was Home and Away actor Nic Westaway, who embraced the craziness of the British panto, including questionable costumes, in a laid back and endearing way. 

Despite some gentle ribbing from Mike McClean as Wishy Washy, Westaway's voice was strong - I particularly enjoyed his tribute to the Australian show he once appeared on. 

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Throughout the show the chemistry between the cast was brilliant to see, McClean as Wishy Washy, Darren Machin as the Dame Widow Twankey and Westaway all bounced off each other brilliantly.

Emma Galvin as the Spirit of the Ring and Selena Barron as Princess Jasmine both gave classy performances, with the relaxed atmosphere allowing their personalities to shine through. 

Selena Barron as Princess Jasmine and the talented chorus at the Ipswich Regent theatre 

Selena Barron as Princess Jasmine and the talented chorus at the Ipswich Regent theatre - Credit: Paul Clapp

Special mention should be given to the littlest members of the chorus, not only were they talented but they looked like they were having the time of their lives up on the Regent stage. 

Without giving too much away I wasn't expecting the circus stunts in the pantomime and neither were the young children in the audience who watched open-mouthed. 

My seven-year-old daughter said Aladdin had the right mix of everything from scary bits, to singing and dancing. 

The soundtrack certainly catered from all ages from the Monkees to Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson. 

The Genie and Aladdin - the whole cast of the pantomime had great comradery 

The Genie and Aladdin - the whole cast of the pantomime had great comradery - Credit: Paul Clapp

Aladdin finished with a spectacular finale - worthy of a West End Show and as the cast lapped up their applause I kept my fingers crossed that they will be able to finish their full run.

You can see Aladdin at the Ipswich Regent from now until January 2, 2022, tickets are available on the Ipswich Theatres website - ipswichtheatres.co.uk. 

Pantomime is back with a bang at the Ipswich Regent this Christmas 

Pantomime is back with a bang at the Ipswich Regent this Christmas - Credit: Paul Clapp