Art for entertainment's sake

Aladdin Show Review

aladdin show

Aladdin is a very popular children’s story that has been portrayed in pantomime productions for years. This year Aladdin will be playing at the Theatre at the 02 until January 6th, then going on tour around the UK. Here we take a look at the stage show that seems to be drawing in large audiences in London.

The Story

Aladdin lives with his widowed mother who agrees for his Uncle Mustafa to take the boy to work for him. Mustafa takes Aladdin to a hidden cave that he knows has treasure and a magic lamp inside but Mustafa dare not enter. He asks Aladdin to go inside to retrieve the lamp and treasures but when Aladdin wont hand them over straight away Mustafa blocks the cave entrance trapping Aladdin in the dark alone.

Aladdin finds a magic ring that he puts on his finger and then picks up the magic lamp and rubs it in order to clean it, while low and behold a genie appears who grants Aladdin three wishes. Aladdin asked the genie to take him home, which he did, while Aladdin and his mother were so happy as they were no longer poor. Aladdin falls in love with the sultan’s daughter, while following his adornment of gifts, jewels and riches to the sultan the couple marry. Everyone in the kingdom was happy and soon after the sultan died leaving aladdin to rule the kingdom in his own caring way.

Mustafa soon hears about Aladdin’s good fortune and goes to the palace dressed as a trader in order to trick the princess into giving him the lamp. He does this by shouting “new lamps for old” while the princess, (who does not know the power of the lamp) gives it to Mustafa in exchange for a new one. Mustafa immediately summons the genie ordering he take the palace and the princess out into the desert. The genie obeys and Mustafa is transported with them.

When Aladdin returns he is distraught and uses the magic ring in order to find out where his beloved princess and the palace have gone. Aladdin then hatches a plan whereby Mustafa was killed and Aladdin, his princess and the palace were all transported back where they belong.

The Production

This comedic production begins with a funeral which doesn’t sound very festive but as you would expect in a panto the audience is soon laughing as the funeral is for the hilarious Lily Twanky’s husband who is also the father of Aladdin. Widow Twanky is played by none other than Paul O’Grady’s alter ego Lily Savage and a superb Twanky he is! It is stated in many reviews that Lily or Paul steals the show. This is likely as anyone who has seen Lily Savage in action will know she is a very funny and formidable character who fills the stage with her presence.

Widow Twanky wears some fabulous costumes but it is stated by critics that if it was not for her appearnce in the show it would undoubtedly be a little disappointing. This is not a great advert for a show that is about to go on tour. There are rousing songs and plenty of jokes, some of which are filled with inuendo and thankfully go over the heads of the kids.

The character of Aladdin is played by former singer of S Club Seven, Jon Lee who it is said puts in a lack lustre performance or maybe it is simply that he fails in the shadow of O’Grady? Princess Jasmine is played by Marissa Dunlop along with Darren Bennett who does a sterling job as the evil Abanazer. The special effects are said to be great with a superb flying magic carpet that soars over the audience, while the sets in this production are of a very high standard indeed.

The Cast

Aladdin…………………..Jon Lee

Widow Twanky…………Paul O’Grady

Abanazer………………..Darren Bennett

Princess Jasmine………Marissa Dunlop

Slave of the Ring………Issy Van Rankdwyck

Genie of the Lamp…….Delroy Atkinson

Ping and Pong………….Matthew Rixon and Andy Spiegel