Woking New Victoria Theatre – until 5 January 2020
Reviewed by Becky Doyle
What an absolute thrill, with a packed theatre and everyone in the mood for festive cheer and a good giggle that was the recipe for a good, fun filled evening!
From the start I was taken aback by the props that were used, in particular the large snake that accompanied Abanazar; played by Jonny Fines. It set the mood for the rest of the evening of the evening; ooooh no it didn’t, oooooh yes it did! Kids and adults alike were screaming at the top of their lungs that Abanazar was not going to win this battle.
Then was the introduction to the rest of the characters and again none of them were less than brilliant; Wishy Washy (Bobby Davro) got the crown pumped and ready to roll with continual jokes and laughter as well as pointing out “what can possibly go wrong on the night” before falling backwards dressed as a Kangaroo competing with the audience to sing a fitting jumping Roo song and needing backstage assistance to get back onto his feet. Brendan Cole, the one everyone came to see provided that showbiz charm, that we were all expecting with all the glitter and glam that comes with the Spirit of the Ring.
David Phipps-Davis who played Widow Twankey, was the surprise of the night, when he began to sing and this magnificent voice projected throughout the whole theatre. I think everyone was taken aback until they realised that it really was him singing. This introduced the much loved 12 days of Christmas song that saw A LOT of running around, dancing, throwing of items and 5 toilet rolls ending up in the audience on multiple occasions and Brendan Cole having to run into a very welcoming audience to retrieve them.
The story itself was great to follow and certainly had the much-loved similarities of the original Aladdin, including that of the love story between Aladdin himself and Princess Jasmine, and the pushy mother who didn’t want it to happen, until of course the Genie in the Lamp grants the wish of being rich and her opinion soon changes, but is all too late as Abanazar acts?!
Will they live happily ever after? I would recommend going to see to get the answers for yourself. If you are looking for a feel good show that is suitable for the whole family with laughs, innuendos and a little bit of dance a sparkle… this is the Panto for you