Aladdin – The Wok ‘n’ Roll Panto review at Theatr Clwyd – ‘a riotous extravaganza’
Theatr Clwyd has a tradition of rocking the panto boat and this new version of Peter Rowe’s script, last seen here 10 years ago, swaps flickering oil lamps for high-energy guitar amps to combine the essential ingredients of the Aladdin tale with classic rock and soul anthems.
So it’s a return trip to Old Peking for this riotous extravaganza in which all that routine genie wizardry, corn-fed comedy and hammed-up acting is transformed into a lively family entertainment, thanks to a top-notch cast of actor-musicians, smart staging from Hannah Chissick – making her pantomime directing debut – and Matthew Cole’s savvy choreography.
Adrian Gee’s sets and costumes unashamedly bring bling to a fantasy version of the Orient. And alongside the string of song-and-dance showstoppers there’s enough daft comedy to sustain the energy levels and plenty of space to remind us that love and honesty trumps wealth and power.
Are there too many songs? Probably. But the ensemble cast perform them like true rock stars, with fired-up vocals pulling out all the stops, especially Josh Tye as Aladdin, Nicola Martinus-Smith”s Princess, Sean McKenzie’s cheery Widow Twankey and Henry Roadnight, in his professional debut, delivering a rockin’ comic stage presence as a knockabout Wishee Washee.
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