Monday, 5 December 2011

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.

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