Review: Aladdin, Harrogate Theatre

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Harrogate Theatre continues its revered reputation as a panto producer of excellence with this year’s Aladdin, the story of a Peking lad made good.

Keeping the boys and girls engaged throughout is the talented Tim Stedman as Wishee Washee, Aladdin’s luckless and foolish brother who also offers some great slapstick moments.

As Aladdin Colin Kiyani offers eye candy for the girls while opposite him Pamela Dwyer as Princess So-Shy does the same for the boys, both with great singing voices to boot. Philip Stewart as dame Widow Twankey is outrageous as ever in her ludicrous frocks and wigs. While Tom Peters doubles up as evil criminal Abanazer and his brother the Emperor of China which involves some very quick costume changes.

We all know the story from ‘Arabian Nights’ of boy meets girl, fall in love, and overcome all obstacles to live happily ever after so no spoilers here. But the action is carried on by the ruse of the emperor using secret agents to protect his kingdom and his black-suited heavies aim to keep Princess So-Shy apart from her sweetheart Aladdin.

Whilst as ever the jokes are corny and the action predictable (isn’t that what we love about panto?) this piece benefits from masterful direction by Phil Lowe with only a few mishaps amongst the madcap mayhem. The design includes a magical carpet for Aladdin where he appears to levitate above the awestruck audience. And there is a rapid transformation of Twankey’s launderette into palatial splendour quite seamlessly.

Family fun and frolics that will have you screaming from the aisles and leaving with a smile.

Runs until 17 January 2016

RICH JEVONS