REVIEW: Come fly with Aladdin at KD Theatre's 'traditional family pantomime'
PUBLISHED: 12:01 19 December 2017
Pantomime returns to the Broadway Theatre, Peterborough, in a production of Aladdin that really flies.
KD Theatre Productions in association with Scott Ritchie Productions, under Scott Ritchie’s direction, give us a fast paced show of sumptuous colour, humour and magic.
The familiar story and script by Daniel William Bell provides the thread for the digressions into familiar pantomime fun with a large degree of audience interaction.
The experienced Mark Hyde is a man comfortable in his outrageous costumes as Widow Twankey and he effortlessly and jovially engages with the audience young and old, while Benjamin Cupit’s Wishee Washee is a bouncing Tigger of a brother, not just to Aladdin, but any child in the theatre.
Andrew Cannon as Aladdin and Victoria Blackburn as Princess Jasmine have the straight romantic roles, both with fine singing voices and engaging personalities - they look good together.
Oliver Broad relishes every moment as the villainous Abanazar and is splendidly hissable and booable.
Pantomimes traditionally have transformation scenes, this one has a transformation character with Melissa Brown-Taylor, doubling as the Empress, elegant in a magnificent costume and then as a sassy, wise-cracking American Genii of the Lamp, bringing reminders of Shrek’s donkey. Her powerful vocals are some of the show’s musical highlights.
The ensemble of Sam Woods, Hannah Fayers, Clarissa Payne and Jake Mnich work hard throughout in Katherine Hickmott and Jessica Theobald’s clever routines, supported by the Panto Babes, while the excellent musical director Tim Shaw and percussionist Simon Emmett are kept very busy with numerous songs, dances and musical effects. Somehow they conjure up the feeling of a full orchestra in another piece of panto magic.
The Broadway is a lovely theatre and production values are high from the handsomely dressed proscenium arch, to the stage effects and Robert Price’s beautiful lighting design.
The flying carpet sequence is truly magical and this is genuinely a production to sit back, knowing you are in safe hands, and enjoy some good clean, traditional pantomime fun for all the family.