Monday, 5 December 2011


First Christmas card actually arrived on Saturday. The second came today. Some people are just too organised. However, in a vain attempt not to be left behind, I've now written and sent 90 per cent of the ones I need to so feeling a bit more organised! Even my three year old helped stick the stamps on the envelopes, though a few of them obscured the addresses. Next job is to make some cards and then clear up the glitter

Aladdin at Greenwich Theatre

Aladdin, Greenwich Theatre, Crooms Hill
Until January 8
Box office 020 8858 7755
Five stars!

Christmas in Greenwich just wouldn’t be Christmas without Andrew Pollard’s annual panto offering.
This year it’s Aladdin (sponsored by Lamps r Us) and from the moment the lights go down in the lovely small auditorium that is Greenwich Theatre the atmosphere is charged with excitement.
The must see panto of the season does not disappoint and is jam packed with gags, live music, silliness and mayhem coming thick and fast at an astonishing rate for two hours.
Indeed, the action zips along at such a rate you hardly have time to stop laughing.
Aladdin (Adam Dougal) and his mum Widow O’Twankey are on their uppers. Their laundry business barely earns them enough to live on, much less feed their pet panda. But then Aladdin meets Princess So-Shy (Laura Wickham) and a strange long lost uncle offers him a job and the promise of jewels galore.
There are various hilarious thrills, spills and adventures to be negotiated and there are of course plenty of local cultural, geographical and political references including the Olympics.
The small cast excels but there are stand-out performances from Anthony Spargo as the evil Abanazar and Daniel Norford as the dancing Genie. Paul Critoph as the rapping Emperor Fu was inspired. But it’s Andrew Pollard’s witty, pacy and punchy script and outrageous Dame Widow O’Twankey which steals the show.
Complete with sumptuous and glitzy costumes, dazzling lighting and pyrotechnics, plenty of Oriental joshing and romance, and a flying carpet, this is the high-flying highlight of the festive season.
It was blingtastic and my ribs still ache from laughing so much. I’m already looking forward to next year’s show.

The Snow Queen

Think you know the story of The Snow Queen? Well a new take on this classic Hans Christian Anderson tale now on at the Unicorn Theatre will make you think again.
In an inspired move, author Anupama Chandrasekhar has set the story in India with Gerda becoming Gowri, beautifully played by Amaka Okafor.
When her best friend Kumar (Ashley Kumar) disappears after a freak snowstorm on the southern tip of India, Gowri sets off on a gruelling and challenging quest to find him and save him from the icy grip of the Snow Queen (Nimmi Harasgama).
Armed only with her self-belief and talisman shell, Gowri’s journey takes her through the burning heat of southern India, lush backwaters, the bustling vibrancy of Mumbai’s street markets, glitzy Bollywood and desolate bandit country before she reaches the stark and ice cold palace of the Snow Queen.
Along the way, she encounters plenty of strange, exotic and wonderful characters, from an old lady who wants to play games with her in her garden to the Sea Goddess with attitude, who eventually agrees to give her safe passage to Mumbai, the cast of a Bollywood movie, a three-headed man and a gang of bandits.
The cast of seven works brilliantly covering a multitude of characters, and with a stunning set, beautiful music and dancing, ensures this fantastic production will delight adults and children alike.

I took my 7yo daughter and she loved it!

Unicorn Theatre, Tooley Street, until January 8. Call the box office on 020 7645 0560 for details.