Sumptuous is one word that describes the visual aspect of Aladdin in the production by Brad Fitt and Dave Murphy, scripted by Fitt and Stewart Permutt. Fitt also plays Widow Twankey, so it’s not surprising that the Dame’s role looms larger – in more senses than one – and has some of the best lines. Not to mention costumes.
Traditional is another adjective which applies, though this version of tradition comes with quirks. Danielle Ellis is the sweet-voiced and very enterprising Princess Poppy with Martyn Ellis as her father, an emperor teetering on the verge of national bankruptcy (cue some rather good jokes about money men and politicians). Widow Twankey’s offspring are Matt Crosby as Wishee Washee and Julie Buckfield in the title role – long-legged, pleasant-natured and definitely a no-nonsense sort of Principal Boy.
Ngo Ngofa is Ishtar, imprisoned in the magician’s ring but definitely an immortal of probity and resourcefulness. Jamie-Ray Hartshorne is a little more soft-centred as the Genie and James Hirst is a glittering, dreadlocked Abanazer, revelling equally in his machinations and the audience’s reactions to them. There’s an excellent six-strong dancing chorus, supplemented by some delightful small children. Kelvin Towse is in the pit with three colleagues and serves up appropriate catchy tunes and rock numbers.