Nottingham Playhouse’s pantomime Aladdin is an Oriental Christmas Cracker of a show! As soon as the curtain rises and, before you can say, “Ey Up Me Peking Duck!” we are off to a rollicking good start on the applause worthy set of old Peking City. The many stunning set designs created by designer Tim Meacock are worthy of the admission price alone. Just wait until you get to the second half. You will be wanting to tap dance your way onto the Orient Express with principal boy Aladdin (Danielle Corlass) and the rest of the excellent cast.
an Oriental Christmas Cracker of a show!
Aladdin the panto sparkles all the way through and new lad in toon is the charming Geordie Nathan Elwick as Wishee Washee. The kids love his confident performance. Corlass as Aladdin is perfect in her thigh slapping romantic principal boy role; she looks good, has bags of personality and her singing voice works well with all her vocal score.
Of course no pantomime would be a true pantomime without a super trooper of a Panto Dame and Nottingham Playhouse audiences can rest assured that with the lovable John Elkington as a fabulous Widow Twankey they will be in for a super dooper time. Almost mistaken for the baddy and initially feted with good natured booing Darren Southworth as The Empress of China is another daft dame who makes the audience giggle with his alliterations and comedy.
Irene Myrtle Forrester doubles as WPC Ping and hypochondriac Genie of The Lamp and Rebecca Little does likewise as WPC Pong and ultra enthusiastic The Slave Of The Ring. Both performances add a great deal of silly humour to the plot and Little seems to revel in singing “Anything Goes” in Cantonese. From her previous incarnation of The Cat in last year’s Dick Whittington Jasmine White bewitches as Princess Jasmine.
The baddy Abanaza is played to the ‘not too scary to frit the little kids’ hilt by the very funny Kevin McGowan. As the panto draws to a close Abanaza is threatened with a vengeful death unless he says ‘sorry’ for his evil ways. This reviewer began to wonder if the Nottingham Playhouse had extended their Sweet Vengence Season without telling anybody.
Aside from all the glitz and glamour and fabulous live music from ‘Uncle’ John Morton and his band; John Porter, Ian Mclean and John Watterson – the amazing sets and costumes – the superb sound and lighting and the talents of the local dancers – there is one more thing. Well two actually. The bit where Dame Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee get a group of local children on stage always get the heart strings going and lots of affection from the mums and dads in the audience. So what is the thing that gets two of the biggest cheers in the whole Nottingham Playhouse pantomime? Yes, the rabbits are back once again on stage – twice!!!! Yay!!!
One very magic carpet ride for all the family.
From The Market Place in Old Peking to The Magic Cave, daftness in the desert and all the way to The Grand Finale Kenneth Alan Taylors’ Aladdin is one very magic carpet ride for all the family.
Runs until Sat 21st Jan 2017
Reviewer Phil Lowe.