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Aladdin review at Nottingham Playhouse – ‘wildly funny’

Darren Southworth, Nathan Elwick and John Elkington in Aladdin at Nottingham Playhouse

This year’s Aladdin is writer and director Kenneth Alan Taylor’s 33rd consecutive panto at Nottingham Playhouse. He’s on top form, with a production that sees the return of the thigh-slapping Principal Boy (Danielle Corlass) – something that audiences have embraced since Susie McKenna pioneered the role here – and combines clear and honest storytelling with some glorious, even outrageous departures from tradition.

Laundry mayhem has given way to flights of fancy in such episodes as the magnificently staged and executed Orient Express scene. It’s the glitzy dance highlight of a second half of visual and musical delights that includes an Egyptian Sand Dance of short tunics and wobbly moustaches that brings tears to the eyes.

John Elkington’s Twankey is a wickedly demure Yorkshire matron with her folded hands and slightly out-turned feet. She maintains her composure even when dressed as a pagoda – “It’s just a little thing I threw on” – and her reckless Dance of the Seven Veils brings the house down.

New faces include Nathan Elwick as a cheery and artless Geordie Wishee-Washee and Irene-Myrtle Forrester as a hypochondriac Genie. Tim Meacock’s sparkling designs are gorgeous.  It’s all a wonderful antidote to the prevailing gloom.

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Wildly funny and beautifully staged pantomime