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Aladdin

Published Monday 7 January 2013 at 11:11 by Sally Stott

Like a good, old-fashioned brass lamp, the Richmond Theatre’s Aladdin is made of solid, sparkly and familiar stuff. Former Hear’Say member and Dancing on Ice champion Suzanne Shaw headlines as both the Genie of the Lamp and her similarly sequined sister, but makes less of an impact on stage than her name does in the marketing material.

Tim Vine, Suzanne Shaw, Graham Hoadly and Gareth Leighton in Aladdin at Richmond Theatre

Tim Vine, Suzanne Shaw, Graham Hoadly and Gareth Leighton in Aladdin at Richmond Theatre Photo: Peter Schiazza

Comedian Tim Vine, as a defiantly non-Chinese Wishee Washee, is the real star. His trademark strings of puns are ideally suited to a style of theatre where gags are often more of a focus than story. At times, it’s difficult to tell where the stand-up ends and Eric Potts’ similarly silly script begins.

As is often the case in pantomime, the peripheral characters are more interesting than the leads and the women only get good lines if they are played by men in drag. Graham Hoadly’s gregarious Widow Twankey and her takeaway-inspired outfits steal more scenes than Helena Dowling’s subdued Princess Jasmin, while an acrobatic flying carpet has more charm than Shaw’s feigned street slang.

Gareth Leighton is a sprightly Aladdin who really shines when singing. Upbeat revivals of 1980s and 90s pop songs are well suited to a finale filled with tickertape, but less so David Lee’s balletic choreography. While the children in the ensemble have stage school poise, they can’t compete with those picked from the audience and their answers to questions from Vine such as “What do you like about being alive?”.

Production information

Richmond Theatre, London, December 7-January 13

Author:
Eric Potts
Director:
Christopher Dunham
Producer:
First Family Entertainment
Cast includes:
Tim Vine, Suzanne Shaw, Graham Hoadly, Gareth Leighton, Adam Pearce, Yo Santhaveesuk, Helena Dowling
Running time:
2hrs 15mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15
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