The festive season is well and truly underway as I have seen my first pantomime of 2016, and if all I review are as fantastic as Chesterfield’s then I am in for a fun-packed fortnight.
Aladdin at the Pomegranate Theatre is a treasure trove of music, magic and mirth presented by a talented cast with stunning costumes and clever lighting and special effects.
If you want some great family entertainment with slapstick for the children and plenty of double entendre to amuse the adults then you can’t do much better than this.
Lee Brennan, best known as a member of boy band 911, was a natural on stage and was clearly enjoying himself in the title role alongside Atomic Kitten Liz McClarnon as Princess Jasmine.
The show made the most of having the two singers in the cast giving them the chance to belt out an array of hits from Jess Glynne’s Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself to Jonas Blue’s Perfect Strangers. Oh and of course. . . Whole Again by the Kittens.
The hilarious Greg Ashton took on the role of Widow Gladys Twankey (‘that’s with a T’) and donned the wackiest of outfits and an impressive plastering of make-up as he strutted about the stage with gusto.
One of the funniest sketches in the show was Greg playing a woman playing a man in a parody of the Money Supermarket advert featuring Fifth Harmony’s Worth It.
Father and son team Keith and Ben Simmons, who wrote and directed the show for Paul Holman Associates, are fast becoming pantomime legends and their side-splitting routine as Pc Me and Sergeant You didn’t disappoint.
The audience really were doubled-up during one scene involving vampire teeth, a stage hoist and the ‘he’s behind you’ gag.
The Chesterfield pantomime wins my vote each year for the Best Pantomime Dancers and once again they were terrific and ably supported by an ensemble of youngsters from local dance schools.
The rest of the cast were Michael Garland as Abanazar; Chloe-Louise Driscoll making her professional pantomime debut as a delightful Slave of the Ring; James Dangerfield as Wishee Washee; Christopher Howard as the Emperor and Aaron Spendelow as Genie of the Lamp.
The Pantomime Dancers were Jessica Baxter, Gregory Cox, Kyeirah D’Marni, Mitchell Eley, Helayna Liviero and Zoe Pandeli.
The Ensemble for the first night were the red team consisting of Ocean McClymont Barber, Ellie-Mae Brown, Megan Crooks, Lacey Fletcher, Robyn Kirk, Frankie Salt, Alexandra Somers and Olivia Troth.
In other shows you could see the blue team of Erin Boswell, Emily Butler, Madeleine Brooks, Ella Clarke, Jamie-Lea Jones, Sasha Myronko, Chloe Pearce and Megan Scragg or the yellow team of Scarlett Dunwell, Naomi Hills Sophie Jerram, Cerys McGarry, Thea Mills, Emma Parker, Sophie Toyn and Grace Walton.
The choreography was by Kevin Archbold, the musical director was Tor Underseth and the percussionist Sean Tobin.
The pantomime is on until January 3 at various times, go to http://www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk to book tickets.