Review: Aladdin, The Carriageworks, Leeds

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Paul Holman’s traditional family pantomimes are renowned for their spectacular sets and lavish costumes and Aladdin is no exception.

However this year’s production is lacking in one essential ingredient slapstick comedy and brash belly laugh humour. Despite having a fine comedy team led by Carriageworks favourite, the inimitable Jez Edwards (Wishee Washee) , comedy and audience participation appear to have been ‘down-sized’ to make room for an overdose of vocals that, after a while, become repetitious leaving the younger children in the audience restless and bored.

As Aladdin 911 boy band singer Lee Brennan makes an appealing, energetic and believable rags-to-riches hero. He fits into comedy numbers superbly and blends beautifully with Charley MacLaren (Princess Yasmin)in the vocals. But it took Stephen’s Richards entrance as Widow Twankey, to inject vitality and a big cheesy smile. One of the best dames to grace the theatre’s stage Richards is everything a pantomime dame should be raucous, in-your-face, and a mistress of the innuendo with a fabulous array of frocks.

Liz Coggins

To January 9