The rapport between the actors makes this show work, and when scenes stray from the script it is the perfect opportunity for some ad-libbing from the seasoned panto pros.
Robert Pearce and Ant Payne are welcome returns as Widow Twankey and Silly Wishee Billy Washee, who amusingly teeter on the edge of corpsing. They are joined this year by the energetic Andrew Stone as Chief of Police, and their balloon ballet and Twelve Days of Christmas is very well executed. The storyline that Stone wants to play Aladdin is a welcome addition to the story and Stone brings plenty to the role.
Boyzone’s Shane Lynch is Abanazar and comes across as a baddie. The slimy mannerisms are there and could even be heightened in some scenes. It was a shame he did not have a song until the finale but the definite nods to Boyzone at the end were a good touch.
Drew-Levi Huntsman and Lucy Reed, winners of the theatre’s Panto Factor, play a well-matched Aladdin and Jasmine, even if some more soppy romance wouldn’t have gone amiss. The two Genies are performed by Jasette Amos, who makes the most of her musical numbers, while Tony Haygarth plays the Emperor.
Costumes by James Maciver are bright and fresh for what is, all in all, a traditional panto.