It’s that time of year. Its panto time. Oh yes, it is. And there is no better panto than Aladdin which is showing at Waterside Theatre at Aylesbury this panto season.
Aladdin is a poor boy who falls in love with Princess Jasmine. This poor thief could never marry a princess, especially as her father wants her to marry someone wealthy. Aladdin lives with his brother, Wishee Washee and his mum Widow Twankey. Aladdin is offered a way to become rich quick, (and we all know that never works) but he is young and in love so he decides to help Abanazar and goes into the cave of jewels. There he finds a lamp and a magic carpet… but hold on a minute, you can find out the story for yourself by going along to see it.
Abanazar is the traditional baddie so let’s all boo him. He can be quite fearful at times, just as a baddie should be, and Davood Ghadami plays him to perfection. His manner, diction and nonplus attitude to the audience booing makes him one of my favourite baddies. He is a very attractive baddie which makes it hard for me to hate him. I loved the references to EastEnders and Holby City and the Will Smith at the awards reference too.
Wishee Washee is played by Andy Collins and along with La Voix as Widow Twankey; they are two of the funniest people you will ever see on stage. There is something very comforting that they have been doing panto together for nine years now and it feels like it’s a personal relationship to you if you are a regular to the Aylesbury panto. It’s no secret I adore La Voix and with good reasons. She can sing, dance and act and is incredibly funny. Also, I really love her pink boots in her Vanish outfit. Andy delivers everything you expect. I loved his Top Gun number. But of course, there are expectations with Andy and La Voix. We expect the 12 days of Christmas with a bra that was made to fit three, and we expect water pistols. I sit with my coat over me but some are full on with their own huge water guns. And we also expect kids to be taken up on stage and say inappropriate things. We get all this at Waterside and more.
Melanie Elizabeth plays Princess Jasmine and is the perfect princess. She is sassy and knows her own mind and stands up to her father. Her love interest, Aladdin is played by Kian Zomorodian and he is fantastic in the role, giving Aladdin a brave attitude where he risks his head being chopped off to win Jasmine’s heart.
We are honoured with not one but two genies. The spirit of the ring is played by Jenny O’Leary and boy can this girl sing. She has previously toured in We Will Rock You and Heathers but her dream role is Glinda from Wicked. I wonder if any producers can make her dream come true this Christmas? The Genie of the lamp is played by Liam Mc Evoy and he is the campest genie ever. He makes Ru Paul’s drag race look butch. I absolutely loved him – he was a breath of fresh air every time he came onstage.
This panto has everything - fun and laughter, a love story at his heart, slapstick humour and even water pistols! What’s not to love?
Aladdin is playing at Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury until 2 January 2023