Aladdin is a timeless classic of a pantomime, no doubt about it. Theatres across the country have adapted the classic into a very different tale compared to the Disney version. Harrogate Theatre provided a refreshing visit to the popular pantomime with their showing on Friday 4th January 2016.
Five minutes in, and I already knew that this show was going to be exceptionally enjoyable. The scene was set, the orchestra was playing and the audience was waiting with baited breath for the show to begin. It opened with music suited to the show- and I can’t imagine it to be any different! The music was befitting to the show throughout, and it suited the scene no matter how dramatic it may have been.
The trope of an opening number can be over- or, alternatively, underused, but not in this performance. The opening song was appropriately changed to suit the show and sung well- not to mention the choreography was both hilarious and perfectly interactive with the audience- and of course, remarkably punny!
The cast of Aladdin was well done; Philip Stewart makes an excellent Dame with plenty of jokes and Tim Stedman (Wishee Washee) had plenty of hilarious back-and-forths with him. On the subject of the cast, it would be criminal not to mention Tom Peters’ frankly outstanding performance as the Emperor and Abanazer. I cannot stress enough how well Tom played the part of Abanazer, as in order to play a villain… The audience has to simultaneously love and hate you – which isn’t an easy task.
Sadly, I was let down by Pamela Dwyer’s performance as the princess as she was reduced to a few poorly presented stereotypes. Overall, however, the show was well thought out from the lighting to the background dancers. I would definitely recommend watching this show.
By Alice Storm- Performing Arts at Harrogate College