On Wednesday night my 6 year old daughter and I were lucky enough to wrap up warm and join another Mummy and her 6 year old to walk through the Christmas lit streets to the 7pm showing of Aladdin at the Playhouse.
My 6 year old was very excited, in part because we saw Cinderella at the same venue last Christmas, and she was fondly recalling the silliness of the panto on our journey there. As the show started at 7pm meaning we didn't get home until 10.30pm, I would strongly recommend an earlier performance if you don't want tired and grumpy children the next day! Was it worth it though? Oh yes it was!
The show began with hissing and booing as Abanazar (John Challis) entered the stage. "We're only booing him because he's pretending aren't we Mummy? He's not really a bad man." The little wise one reassured, we were set up for the rest of the show. And how we very much enjoyed it! Aladdin (Craig Daniel Adams) in particular lit up the stage with his smile and energy. When he was dancing it really felt as if he - and the rest of the cast - were truly enjoying themselves, which helped us to do exactly the same.
Some of the singing was particularly enjoyable, especially the operatic wonders from the Emporer (Paul Arden-Griffith) What a voice! And such an unusual twist too. The litte ones enjoyed the versions of modern pop songs the cast belted out for us, and the cultured one in the group was impressed by the Gilbert and Sullivan number.
This was panto though - and the highlight for adults and children alike were the VERY silly moments! The policemen (father and son Keith and Ben Simmons who also directed the show) with their word play and disappearing box caused hilarity in the six year old reviewers. But my favourite, without a shadow of a doubt, was the perfectly camp Wishee Washee (Terry Gleed)... "SHOW US YOUR FISHY WISHY!" He did a fantastic job of really getting the audience involved and had my own silly smile spread right across my face as soon as he came back on stage.
The panto is a lovely festive treat, and a big thumbs up is deserved to everyone involved in the production. If you want to enjoy a few hours with your family this festive period and have a good old giggle, you could do a lot worse than this.
- by Holly
Aladdin is on at The Playhouse, Weston, till 8th January 2012