Aladdin (Hornchurch, Queen's Theatre)
Villains don’t come much more evil and green-spotlit than Abanazar (Stuart Organ) and there’s an interesting doubling of Princess Jasmine and the Slave of the Ring by Natasha Moore, the latter a thoroughly Essex girl and the former quite a determined young miss. Wishee-Washee is conflated into Joe West} with [Matthew Quinn’s Vizier adding another knock-about element. I also liked Tom Jude’s cash-strapped Emperor, prepared to auction his daughter off to the highest bidder.
Widow Twankey gives Simon Jessop a chance to add substance to an array of different frocks – Mark Walters has produced a succession of fine sets and the costumes to go with them – and keeps the audience laughing. Oliver Seymour-Marsh has a good singing voice as well as the right sort of boyish personality for the title role. The Genie of the Lamp is Steve Simmonds. As well as a well-managed magic carpet ride with the intervention of one of those Chinese dragons to remind us that we’re in China and Tibet, there’s a hilarious chase sequence through the auditorium.