Review: Aladdin

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Christmas is just around the corner folks which means it’s time to get your panto panties on for a night of laughter, spectacle and festive cheer as the Lichfield Garrick Production company bring Aladdin to the stage.

It’s a fun filled family panto with a sock full of audience participation. Boo, cheer and enjoy an evening packed full of bad puns, sensational singing and disastrous dancing.

Aladdin (Adrian Bevan) is from a poor family but he is blinded by his love for Princess Jasmine (Cat Sandion) whose father is a wealth driven Emperor of China (Ian Billings). His love for his Princess takes him to a cave full of gold but the villain, Abanazar (Robin Johnson) has his sights on a magic lamp and he would throw Aladdin under the carpet to get that lamp. Will Aladdin be fooled?

Besides the cramped seating, the stage was radiating with gold and grandeur. Throughout the show the lighting changed from blood reds to sky blues which added both tension and tranquillity to the performance.

Played by CBeebies’ presenter, Cat Sandion, Princess Jasmine is not the pampered princess nor is she sweet or submissive to her father’s greed for money. She is strong willed and determined, with her own mind which is a great way to portray women.

The audience are kept engaged throughout the show as cast members run through the audience, fly over us and squirt water at us. Jokes are made about Lichfield council, Tamworth and Rugeley, bringing a Staffordshire twist to a much loved and magical show.

After his huge success of playing Nurse Nellie, in the Lichfield Garrick’s production of Sleeping Beauty last year, Sam Rabone returns to play the role of Widow Twankey, Aladdin’s mother who is a colourful character. Her outlandish costumes and ditsy behaviour make her so loveable.

The Genie of the lamp (Cameron Johnson) and The Spirit of the Ring (Lizzie Wofford) both have a charm that the audience cannot resist. They are like the overly excited and enthusiastic cousins at a Christmas dinner. Both trapped and seeking freedom but will they get what their hearts desire?

Aladdin is at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre, Lichfield 30 November 2017 to 6 January 2018.

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