The Perfect Panto!
SIMON Fielding has pulled it off yet again with his 2017 Panto offering at Basildon’s Towngate Theatre. Aladdin really is a Panto production unlike no other.
This is Simon’s eleventh year directing, co-choreographing and co-producing – oh and also starring in as the loveable Wishee Washee!
From the moment the curtain rises this is a colourful, fun, exuberant, enigmatic show with an excellent experienced cast also including a dozen or so talented young performers, fantastic costumes and most importantly witty script with plenty of local references – one that made the audience laugh was a reference to Pitsea! You’ll have to see the show to hear the punchline!
Sophie Ladds (below) with or without handle-bar moustache is superb as the baddie of the bunch – Aunty Banazar, getting the audience booing and hissing at her unorthodox behaviour.
The Panto Dame of the show is once again played by Daniel Stockton who went down a storm in last year’s Sleeping Beauty so much so he’s been cast this year as Window Twankey, a ‘lady’ whose fashion sense could rival Lady Gaga’s and her flirtatious banter with the Emperor of China (Nigel Peever) is toe-curlingly funny.
A cast highlight though this year is the Genie played by Wade Lewin. Sounding like ‘Donkey’ from Shrek but with a six-pack torso – eyes lit up when this towering figure escaped from that dredded lamp!
As well as the breathtaking dance routines with not a footstep out of sync, there’s fantastic songs performed too. Interweaved with more classical numbers and sung pitch perfect by Aladdin and Princess Jasmine (Sam Ebeneezer and Marianna Neofitov), Simon Fielding has once again ensured the music of the show is a winning combination with plenty of recognisable chart favourites –Power by Little Mix and Mans Not Hot by Big Shaq two standout tracks that ensured everyone in all tiers of the theatre were on their feet, singing along and joining in the dance moves.
Aladdin is a rollercoaster ride of a show with a few magical surprises along the way. A Panto extravaganza guaranteed!
Aladdin is at the Towngate Theatre, Basildon until 2 January 2018. For more information and to book visit: www.towngatetheatre.co.uk or
call 01268 465465