Aladdin - It's Raining Zen (Liverpool)
This Liverpool Playhouse production is the best panto in the Northwest, says Janie Phillips.
Love them or hate them, there's just no getting away from the bad jokes, song sheets and shocking outfits, however if you are a regular to The Everyman Playhouse pantomime then you know you are in for a Rock and Roll night - new twist of the evergreen tale of Aladdin.
As predicated - this year's festive music mayhem is packed full of glitz, glamour and giggles all the way through. Led brilliantly by local favourites Adam Keast as Monty and Francis Tucker as Lottie Longbottom, these two are so comfortable in their roles that it is impossible not to get drawn in by their naughty ad-libs and sides to the audience.
Playing Aladdin this year, we have Sam Haywood making his professional debut in the title role. Alongside Carla Freeman who plays Princess Willow, these two make a delightful pair and provide some of the best vocals of the night. Every panto has its baddies of course, and these were played superbly by Griffin Stevens playing Scarabmanga and Marianne Benedict as Morgana.
What makes the show are the costumes, superb set and the extraordinary talent of the company. Writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton have created another winner in the long history of The Everyman Playhouse pantomimes, and continues to be one of the Northwest's finest pantomime around.
Aladdin It's Raining Zen continues at the Liverpool Playhouse until 18 January.
- Janie Phillips