Review: Aladdin, Buxton Opera House

Aladdin-72They’ve gone and done it again. Buxton Opera House has conjured up yet another pantomime winner.

Aladdin is a knockout of a show with a treasure trove of music, magic and mirth.

Philip Dart has, as always, written and directed the show for Channel Theatre Productions and despite the fact he has been doing the job for the last 24 years his script was fresh and funny.

The schoolchildren in the audience were splitting their sides at the slapstick and cheered with delight when one hapless teacher was covered in foam during the laundry scene.

If you want to see a good old-fashioned family pantomime in a fabulous theatre then you can’t get better than this.

Graham MacDuff as evil Abanazar was brilliant as the big old ‘boo hiss’ baddie and he had the most amazingly wicked laugh.

Zoe Littleton played the panto nasty’s alter ego – the charmingly dippy Layla, a texting, Essex girl version of the Spirit of the Ring.

James Holmes took on the role of Widow Twankey and donned the wackiest of outfits and an impressive plastering of make-up as he strutted about the stage with gusto.

Alex Lodge was an energetic and enthusiastic Aladdin and was the perfect prince for Princess Jasmine played by Kelsey Beth Crossley.

The actor is best known for playing Scarlett Nicholls in Emmerdale but is no stranger to pantoland, which was clearly evident from her confident, polished performance.

Danny Childs, who played the panto fool in the guise of Wishee Washee, was hilarious as were Josh Harrison Yellop and Alfie Parker as the bungling bobbies Cop and Nick.

The genie, played by Stuart Turner, took on the guise of a Champagne sipping city slicker, which made an amusing change from the usual macho characters who emerge from the lamp.

The chorus teams this year were Shimmer: Faye Bramley, Neave Burns, Frances Cragg, Madison Crowther, Harriet Hall, Gemma Hope, Libby Johnson, Gabriella Mainiero, Angelina Robinson and Jade White. Shine: Ella Bond, Martha Burwood, Amelia Fitzgerald, Charlotte Gardner, Niamh Goulding Ansbro, Liberty Rose Hall, Poppy Hart, Ailis Kilcullen, Bronte MacMillan and Mathilda MacMillan.

The musical director was Matt Pallant, choreographer Sally Brooks, lighting designer Guy Dunk, sound designer Terry Saunders, costume designer Jo Deaville and company stage manager Vernon Marshal. The musicians were Sam Pegg and Adrian Treacher.

The show is on until January 2 and you can get tickets at http://www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk