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Aladdin (South Shields)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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The familiar pantomime duo of Ray Spencer and Bob Stott return for this year's Customs House production of Aladdin and don't fail to live up to their reputation.

Dame Dotty (Bob Stott) and her sons Tommy Wishy-Washy (Ray Spencer) and Aladdin (Steven Lee Hamilton) get their laundry in a spin when the evil Abanazar (Peter Darrant) arrives on the scene.

The classic pantomime tale of good versus evil gets its usual Tyneside twist. The “little panto with the big heart” gets its charm from its ability to deliver value for money entertainment without taking itself too seriously; it wouldn't be the same without the odd mis-hap and ad-lib along the way.

The sets and lighting have had a pleasing upgrade for this year and help to enhance the story; the flying magic carpet provides welcomed bemusement and an unexpected treat.

The anticipation for Spencer and Stott to appear on stage is palpable and the gags and comedic costumes keep coming throughout the night. Stott steals the show with his down to earth approach to Dame Dotty.

The supporting cast all play their part to keep the story alive; Darrant turns in his usual well rounded performance of the baddie of the piece to be boo-ed at and Christina Berriman-Dawson is a welcomed new addition to the emsemble as the Slave of the Ring.

But credit must be given to Stott, a true pantomime legend - long may his days as a Dame continue.


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