Review for December 15 show of Aladdin.
THIS year’s pantomime at Redditch Palace Theatre is filled with magical moments, great gags and a star-studded cast at the top of their game.
Directors Paul Holman and John Ogle have done an excellent job at taking the original tale of Aladdin, first seen in ‘One Thousand and One Arabian Nights’, and making it their own.
For example the opening song is not a recognisable Disney classic but instead a modern-day hit from Michael Gracey’s ‘The Greatest Showman’.
Robin Windsor as The Genie, Michael Auger as Aladdin and Louise Cannon as Princess Jasmine all have fantastic singing voices but it was Brian Taylor as the Emperor of China who stood out the most.
In one scene he sings Andrea Bocelli’s Con te partirò and does so in superb fashion – no easy task.
Windsor’s performance was particularly brilliant as well.
His electric dancing and flamboyant costumes bring energy to every scene he’s in.
Which made it even more surprising to learn that he’s relatively unused during Act One.
But his noticeable absence did ramp up the anticipation for his first scene.
Baddie Abanazar, played by Darren Clewlow-Smith, was excellent as the pantomime villain largely down to his powerful stage voice.
He interacted really well with the audience and definitely managed to spook a few children along the way.
The stand-out performance however came from Britain’s Got Talent’s ‘G’, who plays eccentric character Wishee Washee and was hilarious from start to finish.
A lot of his jokes were aimed at the adults in the audience but it didn’t matter because he had the children rolling around the floor laughing anyway due to the way he delivered them.
His impromptu and quick wit made him constantly hilarious throughout.
And his pairing with Simon Howe, who plays Widow Twankey, provided some of the pantomime’s best moments.
It would also be a travesty to not mention the flying carpet scene, which was a visual treat and will be remembered for years to come.
Audience members were thrilled and genuinely surprised to see the magic carpet lift from the stage and proceed to hover above them.
Finally, with Disney’s Aladdin remake coming out next year it was the perfect time for the Palace Theatre to choose this Arabic tale as their pantomime choice.
And you can still catch it before it’s finishes next year.
Aladdin runs until January 6, 2019 and tickets can be bought at www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/all-shows/aladdin