Within three years Above The Stag’s pantomime established itself as one of the modest successes of the London fringe. With their home in Victoria demolished earlier this year, producer Peter Bull has transplanted the successful format to the Landor, presenting this metrosexual take on the traditional Arabian Nights tale.
Authors Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper have once again crafted an astute satire that takes potshots at practically every sacred cow in the herd. Andrew Beckett’s shrewd direction ensures the actors roll with the punchlines and, despite the addition of musical numbers that add little except length, the pace never lets up.
Beckett is blessed with a strong company capturing the irreverent spirit of the piece from Josh Rochford’s glorious turn as a coquettish Widow Twankey, transported from a launderette on Clapham High Street to the Chinese province of Hao Hung, to Matthew Baldwin’s terrifying rogue trader, the sleazy Abanazar. Greg Airey as Aladdin and George Bull as Prince Char Ming delight as the strictly unconventional romantic leads, while Sarah Dearlove as the Genie and Toby Joyce as the Gimp provide the distinctly unorthodox mystical turns.
Candid, colourful and camp as Christmas can be, Above The Stag’s Get Aladdin! proves that it takes more than a bulldozer to put a winning team down.