Aladdin at the Liverpool Empire Theatre Review

Empire Theatre, Liverpool

12 December 2014 to 4 January 2015


Reviewed by Sue Trish


Excitement filled the air as we approached the Empire Theatre in Liverpool, children and adults alike laughing and chatting as they waited to go in, even the atmosphere in the foyer was electric! As usual the staff here were incredibly polite and helpful – all donning their best Christmas jumpers and fancy dress outfits – a fantastic little touch to get the festive evening off to a brilliant start!! The theatre was extremely busy and the atmosphere was brilliant! The carol singers in the beautifully decorated piano bar were a magical touch. Christmas has well and truly started!!!!

We didn’t have to wait very long for our tickets – staff seemed to be very efficient and they were really friendly.

We were quickly and efficiently shown to our seats and given that this large theatre was packed out, people were seated quickly and without a fuss and the show started on time.

It wasn’t long before the lights went down and the show started on time with screams of excitement from the audience.

I thought the story was told really well and my 5 year old was following most of it without any problems. The brilliant cast had no problem with audience participation and the whole show was filled with everything you would expect from a panto! With hilarious scouse clichés and references plus some terribly funny jokes throughout – the cast had me captivated.

Excited children and adults alike joined in with the singing and clapping, the audience response from the cast was testament to how fantastic they are.

The feeling throughout the show was fantastic. For me Aladdin, Widow Twankey, and the hysterical Wishee Washee, all stole the show. Ray Quinn as Aladdin was perfectly cast, his singing and dancing was fantastic and he really engaged with the audience. Twankey and Wishee Washee played up to the comedy roles perfectly!! Giving us some side splittingly funny moments!! My little girl loved Wishee, played by the fantastic Benjamin Engelen, instantly and he had us entertained and laughing throughout the entire show! I must say the script writers got the fine line of appropriate adult humour at a family show just right, and fans of traditional pantomime will find plenty that’s familiar here.

I must also add that both the genies of the ring and the lamp gave excellent performances all round and really engaged with the audience, and the traditional bad guy, Abanazar, was booed at enough by the audience to prove it was a job well done!

The back drop scenery and stage props were superbly done given the relatively small space on stage, the costumes were fantastic and the magic carpet scene had us mesmerised. All the cast, including the citizens of Peking and the juveniles, danced and sang brilliantly! Any little glitches were handled perfectly, especially when they were slipped into the scene for comedy value.

I think one of our favourite scenes was the 12 days of Christmas song. Absolutely hysterical and the whole theatre was up laughing and I am sure will be taking this version home to sing to the rest of the family – PC Pong was just brilliant!!

First Family Entertainments have done a wonderful job of recreating a funny and exciting fairy tale. With modern and local twists that we can all relate to as well as some brilliantly incorporated current well known songs; they have certainly succeeded in bringing Aladdin back to life.

I would highly recommend!!

Rating: 5/5 thumbs_up

Tickets cost from £10 to £32.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).

Aladdin is at the Liverpool Empire until 4 January 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8713017.

Liverpool Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017


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