St Helen’s Theatre Royal – until 13 January 2020
Reviewed by Carla Whittaker
A great British pantomime remains a tradition treasured and loved by all ages and judging by the reception of Aladdin at St Helen’s Theatre Royal this was no exception. I was delighted to be offered tickets to watch Aladdin in St Helen’s which is running until the 13th January 2020. Aladdin came to St Helen’s Theatre Royal with music, dancing, sparkle and humour really keeping it within the pantomime territory! Some of the humour was directed towards the adults going over the head of children, but the mix was an even equilibrium meaning this production of Aladdin left all ages aching from laughter.
If you are a fan of Strictly Come Dancing then you are in for a real treat with Robin Windsor playing Aladdin. I have never seen a pantomime with so much mesmerising dance moves whilst whisking Jasmine off her feet. The St Helen’s audience seemed to love Windsor, and I did too. He had such a likable and loveable energy about him and played the part perfectly. Although he did not do much singing in the show, when he did, his vocals did not disappoint.
Playing Aladdin’s brother was Scott Gallagher as Wishee Washee who played the part brilliantly; connecting with both the children and adults meaning the audience were in stitches from his connection with them. I think a favorite for me was Tim Lucas who placed PC Noodle; a Scouse policeman who did a terrible job as a policeman, but had the audience in stitches of laughter in particular from his Scouse innuendos. His vocals were truly outstanding, and I think he will be one to one in the future on stage! Olivia Sloyan played Princess Jasmine beautifully; showing her flawless vocals and elegant dancing.
As a regular at the St Helen’s Panto I was over the moon to see that Si Foster did not just write the script which told the traditional story of Aladdin but was once again playing the resident dame who played Widow Twankey. Si really does play the best dame and he is hilarious with missed lines, fits of hysteria and his wig falling off! Both myself and my non pantomime loving partner smiled every time Widow Twankey appeared on stage due to the hilarious antics! The unlikely chemistry on stage between Widow Twankey and Philip McGuinness as the villainous Abanazer was hilarious and created an ambience that only a Christmas panto can conjure!
Regal Entertainments Ltd did a fantastic job of the fantastic set designs, polytechnics and no expense spared colourful, vibrant costumes which certainly stood out. Widow Twankey’s costumes were superb!
As with previous St Helen’s pantos the scenery and special effects were spectacular. The 3D glasses which were provided made you feel like you were part of Aladdin’s adventure on the magic carpet, although I was absolutely terrified of the 3D spiders! Children were mesmerised by what they were seeing, with loud ‘WOWS’ being heard throughout the theatre.
At the age of 33, Christmas is not Christmas without an annual visit to watch a pantomime. Aladdin did not disappoint. It was one of the best scripted, hilarious and choreographed shows I have seen with outstanding sound effects, costumes, strobe lighting, fireworks and fire which had the wow factor, as well as the fantastic 3D effects which brought the panto to life!
Aladdin is playing at the St Helen’s Theatre Royal until the 13th January 2020.