Milton Keynes Theatre
Where: Milton Keynes
14 December 2011 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews It's a little unfair, I know, but I took a look at my review of last yearís Milton Keynes panto before writing this one. To save myself time, I could easily have trotted it out again with the names changed.
Which, coincidentally, is pretty much what the producers have done with this version of
Aladdin, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the one they laid on for MK audiences in 2007.
The difference then was that a manic Bradley Walsh was the force of nature that drove the show to the heights of hilarity and mayhem that it enjoyed. This time around, heís not there.
Thatís not to say that TV impressionist
Paul Burling doesnít do a fair job of helming the piece as Wishee Washee, nor that Gareth Gates and Nicola Brazil donít make a glamorous, fine-voiced couple as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine. Adam Pearceís overblown Abanazar and Chris Nelsonís reprise of Major Pong also offer entertaining support, with a powerful band in the pit and plenty of expenditure on the set and the well-drilled dancers.
John Barrís rather underwhelming Widow Twankey and a frankly dispensable turn from Strictlyís Camilla Dallerup add little to the proceedings, while an odd selection of songs leave you scratching your head over Eric Pottsís script and Andrew C Wadsworthís direction. Itís harmless enough Ė if youíre prepared to excuse the lame attempts at double entendre Ė and the under-tens in the audience seemed reasonably happy. But thereís no escaping the fact that the stunning Milton Keynes pedigree from the days of Mr Walsh seems to have disappeared in a puff of pixie dust.
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