Graham Cole & Lucy Dixon
20 December 2012 WOS Rating: Average Reader Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews For me (and I suspect many other well-seasoned pantomime goers in the audience) this year's Aladdin at Norwich's Theatre Royal is the pick of the 2012 bunch. Of course, Richard Gauntlett could probably by now play Dame in his sleep (though you could never accuse him of sleep-walking through a performance) and his script for his own production has some very nice touches.
Chief among these is that we're back in the Arabia of semi-myth, which after all is where the story originates – no China, though Widow Twankey still runs a laundry. A shadow puppet introduction by the Genie of the Lamp (
Nick Aldis) gives us the story of the young Aladdin who lost his father while exploring for the magical cave and was subsequently rescued and adopted by Twankey. Aldis has a commanding stage presence, as befits a wrestler of some renown.
No Genie of the Ring then, and of course no Emperor of China. Instead Princess Sukaria is her own ruler, on the brink of having to decide on a husband.
Zoe Clarke makes her into a feisty young madam, happy to escape protocol and trusting in her troupe of monkeys (children from the Central School of Dancing and Performing Arts) to guard her rather than the local constabulary led by Steve Edwin's Sergeant (there's a good routine for this troop, which [André Vincent]'s Wishee Whashee is over-eager to join).
Lucy Dixon plays Aladdin, very much a brisk lad with clear- – not to say clean- – cut ambition; the duets with Clarke are very good and Dixon takes off on several magic carpet rides with aplomb. We all love to boo and hiss the villain, and Graham Cole's Abanazar is a prime example of the species, though Gauntlett adds a particularly new twist to his relationship with Aladdin, which I won't spoil by disclosing. Find out for yourself!
Down in the pit,
David Carter and his players produce a bright sound and flourish some clever musical comments on the action. The eight members of the dancing and singing chorus have some quick costume changes as well as some quite tricky moves dictated by Dee Jago's choreography. No designer is credited, but the painted backcloths and set pieces look fine and the special effects work splendidly. - by Anne Morley-Priestman Related Content Back to Southeast Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...