12 December 2015 to 2 January 2016
Reviewed by Katy Nettleton
It’s time to turbo charge your magic carpet and polish that old lamp as Buxton’s annual family pantomime gets off to a flying start! Leading the cast are Kelsey Beth Crossley (from Emmerdale and The Voice) and James Holmes (Clive from Miranda) as Widow Twankey.
Aladdin is the tale of a poor laundry boy who finds a magic lamp. When he gives it a rub, out pops a genie who grants him three wishes, but will his good fortune be enough to win the heart of the beautiful Princess Jasmine?
Packed with hilarious comedy routines, colourful dance numbers and catchy songs to sing and clap along to, this year’s panto looks set to be our best yet! So come along and make all your Christmas wishes come true!
This is a pantomime with a twist! The story is in essence “Aladdin” (as it should be!), in Old Baghdad but it’s been brought into the twenty first century with twitter tweets, a blonde, orange, Essex girl known as “Slave in a Ring” and also the introduction of Star Wars characters! This may sound a little “out there” but strangely works well. With the audience of all ages laughing from one joke to slap-stick-humour to the next, the story was easy to follow by my children (aged 5) but as with most pantomimes the jokes were aimed at parents/grandparents age so were not easily understood. I did spend a number of minutes trying to explain why Comfort being on an Ariel was funny (I think you need to be there at the time to understand the joke!!) and a joke regarding twins didn’t go down too well with my twins, but the rest of the audience was in hysterics! For me there was a good balance between storytelling, singing, dancing and humour – both my girls and I were dancing in our seats. As we were in the lower stalls towards the back it did make it difficult for my girls to see some of the stage at points, so if you are looking to book tickets and have “smaller children” it may be worth booking to sit in the dress circle or upper dress circle, this though did not spoil our afternoon.
As there was no “known” stars to be front-lining the pantomime I was a little apprehensive on the quality of the production; but this was not needed. Jasmine had both my girls starry eyed when she was singing; beautiful, meaningful and spine tingling. For me Aladdin’s voice felt strained at times when in a duet with Jasmine and felt that they did not necessarily complement one another, however at other times you began to feel that they “were truly in love,” this could be me being a bit picky! At times the jokes may have gone on a bit longer than needed including the washing “sketch” (act!), but with audience participation it always enjoyable being sat in the audience watching! Widow Twankey is entertaining as expected and in my opinion helped the show move on and made the show.
It’s hard to write a review on a pantomime; you know when you book that there is going to be the “Christmas cracker jokes”, the ums and ahs, the love, the tears, the chase, the dancing, the slap-stick-humour, the obligatory “he’s behind you” and this version of Aladdin does not disappoint. This is a good pantomime which excels in entertainment for the whole family of all ages and not a high price.
Tickets cost from £17.50 to £22.50 (booking fees may apply).
Aladdin is at the Buxton Opera House until 2 January 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0845 127 2190.
Buxton Opera House, Water Street, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6XN | 0845 127 2190