Aladdin – Churchill Theatre Pantomime
Every year I look forward to panto at The Churchill Theatre. Not only are they always a fun filled show but they take me right back to my childhood, sitting into the auditorium cheering and booing. Luckily this year has been no different.
This years pantomime offering by the Churchill Theatre is Aladdin which transports the audience from Bromley to old Peking and it does so with plenty of glitter and a sprinkling of magic.
Christopher Biggins is the big name star of this pantomime cast. He plays Widow Twankey, Aladdin’s mother and every time you blink he appears in a different costume. These costumes in themselves were a feast for the eyes! As pantomime royalty he showed just why he is so well known for his pantomime appearances winning the audience over with a twinkle in his eye and ensured that every joke landed just brilliantly.
Biggins was supported by a strong cast. I particularly enjoyed Max Fulham’s performance who played Washee, one of Aladdin’s brothers. He is a ventriloquist who not only performed with his usual monkey puppet onstage but also with a bin and a sock!! He was funny and succeeded in getting both the adults and the children on stage laughing at his jokes. There was no smut, just innocent humour and it worked brilliantly . I enjoyed Fulham’s performance so much so I was thrilled whenever he appeared on stage, eager to see what his next gags would be.
The Wishee to Fulham’s Washee was Rikki Jay who took the more traditional, foolish comedian role and got the children screaming at the stage and interacting enthusiastically with him. Comedy roles aside Ryan O’Gorman played the panto villain, Abanazar and his voice in his solos really showed how much talent is in panto now andYazdan Quafouri and Emily Hawgood as Aladdin and Jasmine made the picture perfect pantomime couple.
The gags in this years pantomime were enjoyable and whilst it had firm favourites there were also fresh jokes that I hadn’t heard before…a great balance of the old and new. The technical side of the show was also incredibly strong with a sparkling lighting design by Matt Clutterham and the Magic Carpet really achieved in getting the wow factor.
I would have liked to have seen some different song choices within the pantomime, none of the songs really had the recognition factor and it felt as if it was missing those big pop songs that all the children and adults in the audience alike know.
Aladdin has really brought the magic to Bromley. With a flying carpet that wows, a cast that can do everything from have a conversation with a bin to really sing and gags that get the audience laughing out loud there isn’t much more you could want from a pantomime.
Aladdin is running until 5th January. To find out more about the show visit the Churchill Theatre’s website.