dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Aladdin review at Theatre Royal St Helens

With the glossier, more star-studded seasonal offerings to be found around the north west, the Theatre Royal’s pantomime risks looking more than a little Vauxhall Conference League in comparison. But then panto is about more than just big names and deep pockets. Sadly, in places this production feels as raggedy and careworn as its scenery.

But it is not without its rough-and-ready charms, personified by Nick Cochrane – better known as Corrie’s permanently missing McDonald brother Andy – whose cheeky chappy Aladdin is more matey comic relief than dashing hero. But the show belongs to illusionist Richard De Vere’s lugubrious Abanazer. De Vere knows how to hold an audience and spends most of his stage time either stealing the show or threatening to derail it completely by cracking up his co-stars. Some of this fun translates to the audience, but much of it is hampered by a variable hit rate of gags – further marred by an unwelcome vein of homophobia. The plot of Aladdin – never the best of fit for panto – also gets muddled along the way, while an overreliance on backing tracks and recorded vocals diminishes its impact as a live spectacle.

Production Information

Theatre Royal, St Helens, December 2-January 8

Authors
Regal Entertainments Ltd, Richard De Vere
Directors
Chantelle Nolan, Richard De Vere
Producer
Regal Entertainments Ltd
Cast includes
Richard De Vere, Nick Cochrane, Si Foster, Leah Murphy, Eloise Tasker, Claire Simonsen
Running time
2hrs 30mins

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
^