REVIEW: Aladdin gave the audience a whole new world of humour

MOVE over Disney, Whitehaven Theatre Group showed us a whole new world of humour as panto season kicked off in Egremont.

Oh yes they did: The cast of Aladdin gave a whole new world of humour in their Christmas pantomime. Photo by Robert Haile

The Egremont Market Hall was filled with laughter and joy, on Tuesday, December 5, as the panto season began – and this year it’s Aladdin – so grab your mince pies and magic carpet because it’s time for the ride of your life.

The classic tale of Aladdin on a journey to marry the Princess Jasmine – with the help of a magic genie – was told with a delightful family-friendly twist.

Set in ‘Peking’ Aladdin (Scarlett Todhunter) – the son of launderette owner and gin-loving Widow Twankey – falls in love with Princess Jasmine (Ellie McMillan) – but she must only marry a man with money.

So when a mysterious and possibly evil ‘long lost uncle’ shows up promising riches for help with a task how can Aladdin say no?

After falling into a sticky situation, Aladdin discovers the lamp – and the genie.

As the genie turns Aladdin and his family’s life around things can only look up, that is until the ‘long lost uncle’ turns out to be the evil Abanazar.

Each actor gave a compelling panto performance and take the audience on a musical and comical journey – not missing any opportunity to include the audience or pop in a satirical joke.

Whitehaven Theatre Group’s Shaun Donald was back again, this year as Widow Twankey – he was hilarious, the man was made to be a panto dame.

Just as Aron Armstrong found his forte in the role of Abanazar – as every good panto needs a great villain – gaining more ‘boos’ from the audience every appearance on stage.

A stand-out moment was the Genie’s (Lisa Buchanan) tap performance with the dancers – the whole show was a dance-critics delight, with complex and entertaining routines placed at just the right moments.

The costumes were far the best by being dazzling, glittery, shimmering and outstanding like a disco ball. My focus was only broken by the laughter of the audience.

Technically; the lighting was used cleverly to shift scenes and they used short clips of music which was clever because even if the children didn’t get the jokes; based on the music and sound effects, the adults did.

This made the performance suitable for the whole family, young and old and I would definitely go and see it again!
Tickets, though selling like hot lamps, are still available and can be purchased: HERE.

By Rachael Grealish