Aberdare’s Aladdin combines Eastern magic, mummies and genies with plenty of rub-a-dub-dub. Last year’s ugly sister Frank Vickers once again dames up wonderfully as Widow Twankey, with more costume changes than the Oscars - highlights including a camel and ingenious variations on rotary washing lines thanks to the BA (Hons) costume staff and students from Coleg Morgannwg.
Also trying to have a rub, but this time of the magic lamp, not the royal laundry, is Baker Boys’ Richard Corgan, making his evil panto debut by playing Abanazar as a Shakespearean villain - cue lots of silly jokes based on mispronouncing his name - ‘Av a banana’, ‘Abergavenny’ and so on.
Lower budget than the big city pantos, this production’s sets are less flashy, but a stronger adaptation of the script to localise the plot provides plenty of laughs, while stage fireworks and a flying magic carpet ensure there is much to entertain small kids and their big kid parents.
Eye candy for mums and grans comes in the boy band forms of Tom Richards - a former X Factor contestant who plays the glittery-chested Genie of the Lamp - and Maxwell James (The Adventures of Sancho Panza) as Aladdin, who both prove more than competent on vocals.
Natalie Morgan’s bossy Princess Jasmine provides lovely vocals some of the time, while Amy Coombes slightly over-eggs the Genie of the Ring. Zoe Davies and Richie Gooding are tongue-in-cheek comic caricatures as the police double act PC Ping and PC Pong, and Gavin Nelson jests as Wishee Washee with some hit-and-miss b-boy interludes.