There is nothing quite like a family night out at the Pantomime to kick start the Christmas festivities and if you want on par with west end spectacular, laugh-out-loud moments, fantastic dancing numbers and a cast who really put other panto performers in the shade – Aladdin at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-on-Sea is a MUST-SEE!
From the moment we took our seats to curtain fall we were engulfed in the magic of Panto, with striking visuals, hilarious jokes, pyrotechnics and spectacular props; such as an impressive giant snake, a grand genie of the lamp and an enchanting magical flying carpet.
The highlight of the night was the mesmerizing and spectacular dance routines from the stars of the show Diversity, the genies of the rings.
Ashley Banjo leads Diversity as the genies that help Aladdin on his quest to find the treasure and riches to be able to marry Princess Jasmin whilst escaping the clutches of his evil uncle Abanazar, a superb level of mischievousness performed from Daniel Boys.
They dazzled everytime they were summoned to the stage with eye-catching performances and spectacularly choreographed routines all in perfect sync as they dramatically flipped around the stage and entertained us with their signature sleekness and some current trends – there is no escaping The Floss this year.
Along the journey, we are treated to the usual silly humour of Panto, mainly from Aladdin’s brother Wishee Washy played by Ian Royce, who is famed for warming up audiences on X-factor and for many celebrities concerts.
Ian humorously keeps the panto tradition of entertaining adults and children alike flowing throughout, including a lip-sync scene, comically spinning of classic hit after hit in conversation as Aladdin is trying to woe Jasmin that is hard to stop the toes tapping.
So the audience participation number is a nice break from the script as we compete sides, singing and dancing. Though a real treat for the audience is when Ian has a ‘dance off’ with Perry from Diversity, who effortlessly makes those good old dad moves look cool again.
David Phipps-Davis returns to Southend panto, as panto dame Widow Twankey and doesn’t disappoint blasting us with his operatic voice and favourite Chinese cuisine song and charming stage chemistry with comedian Ian.
Aladdin is a real treat, with all the desired pantomime compositions; current hit tunes weaved in to a delightful RomCom plot and with the magnificent dancing scenes of Diversity it makes this one sensational theatrical show.
Aladdin is on at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend until Saturday 5th January and extra performances have been added due to its popularity this year.
Visit their website www.southendtheatres.org or phone the box office on 01702 351135.