Abbey Theatre review: Aladdin
Aladdin, Abbey Theatre, Nuneaton, 14 th – 25 January
What a show! From the moment the curtains open it is pure entertainment with a cast of characters bursting with fun, enthusiasm, talent and charisma.
Written and directed by Simon N W Winterman, it's certainly the wittiest script I've heard in a long while.
The two main jokers in the pack are Widow Twankey, played hilariously by Phil Malkin, and the lively and enthusiastic – and very likeable Wishee Washee played by Dan Gentles. Both are true stars of the stage who have the audience in the palm of their hands from their opening lines. The chorus of dancers and singers are a real delight: happy, smiling faces throughout, who really looked to be enjoying every moment – as the audience were. The casting for the roles of these traditional characters was perfect, with every actor bringing something special into their character’s personality so that the familiar panto felt fresh and unique. Aladdin is played excellently by bare-chested Wes Udall who wins the heart of Princess Jasmine (Sarah Painter). They are a joy to watch along with the Princess’s lady- in-waiting, So Shy (Anya Sloan). The Sultan (Ian Bottrill) is another star of the show bringing humour into his every move. Then we have the villain of the story, Abanazar, played brilliantly by Sam Asbury. The drama and presence he has on stage is captivating – and then he surprises everyone by showing what a great singing voice he has.
As for the Genie of the Lamp (Sam Bates), his take on this traditional role is just fabulous – a Genie oozing charisma and personality. The production has everything to create a perfect panto with audience participation and sing-alongs.
The costumes, dances and acrobatic routines just get more and more colourful and spectacular as the show goes on. There are some excellent special effects – and hats off to the sound effect person who has the interaction between Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee timed to perfection. (Poor Wishee Washee!). The jokes and laughs don’t stop, and with surprises, twists and turns along the way, there isn’t a single dull moment in this (almost) 3-hour production. Loved it! If you get the chance to see Aladdin at Abbey Theatre, then go along, you'll be glad you did. Buy tickets online: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/suddenimpulsetheatrecompany/aladdin/e-axomev