Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Aladdin – The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto review at City Varieties Music Hall Leeds

So the Rock ‘n’ Roll pantos are proving to be very successful, and the first of its kind hits Leeds’ beloved City Varieties Music Hall since the re-opening of the theatre following a £9.9 million refurbishment.

The famous story of Aladdin is kept faithful for the most part, with whimsical embellishments of traditional Christmas panto antics throughout.

A heady ensemble of multi-talented actors head this performance, all able to play an instrument or two, churning out favourite sing-a-long hits, with a few recent numbers to keep the show fresh. Some popular and familiar faces appear here – Matthew Daines is the highlight as sexually frustrated Widow Twankey, dominating the panto from her first line. Johnson Willis as the evil and ugly sorcerer, Abanazer, has an almost Voldemort-like quality, while a prancing, saxophone-playing monkey in the form of Cuddles is a treat to watch for anyone.

An endearing quality is brought by the local gags, keeping it relevant. And slapstick silliness abounds, making the comedy both delightfully innocent and devilishly dangerous, in this otherwise fun-filled family caper.

Production Information

City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds, December 20-January 8

Peter Rowe
Vik Sivalingam
Peter Sandeman
Cast includes
Dan de Cruz, Sarah Mahony, Matthew Daines, Johnson Willis
Running time

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price