A panto with much to like

cast of Aladdin

Aladdin

Malvern Theatres

***

PRETTY multi-coloured Chinese lanterns shine around the theatre as the audience is transported to The Orient for the fairytale of lovesick laundry boy Aladdin.

And while pleasant enough, it's more of a slow burner than a firecracker of a show. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot to like about this traditional panto.

There's popular songs from the Disney film Aladdin as well as cleverly adapted chart hits from Taylor Swift and Pharrell Williams; an immense baddie in the form of TV star Robert Powell; and a strong comedic Widow Twanky.

Where it falls short, however, is with the leading pair of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine (Chris Edgerley, from children's TV show High-5, and newcomer Rebecca Marks) who are barely in tune during their many songs. They also don't have as much charisma of other actors in the show, such as Milkshake's Derek Moran as Wishy Washey or Carrie Rawlings as the Slave of the Ring.

There are jokes aplenty and Powell steals the limelight in all his scenes as evil Abanazar, but the set doesn't seem as lavish as last year and some of the previous panto's set routines have been resurrected almost identically, like the scene with the ghost.

There were some glitches on the first night when I was there, of microphones going on the blink and the like, but the actors made jokes of the mishaps to add to the comedy. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt with three stars that these issues won't persist as it is a fun, average family show to enjoy this Christmas. To 04-12-15

Alison Brinkworth

11-12-1

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