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Aladdin review at Ferneham Hall, Fareham – ‘superior genies, patchy panto’

Mark Siney and Clive Mantel in Aladdin at Ferneham Hall Mark Siney and Clive Mantle in Aladdin at Ferneham Hall
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Over past years, Ferneham Hall has strived to make its Christmas productions a little different. This year’s Aladdin is a case in point, opening with a rap number and including an extended role for the Emperor of China.

Mark Siney, an impressive dame in recent years, is responsible for most of the show’s comedy – the washing machine routine is a particular highpoint.

Despite the theatre’s limited resources for sets and scenery, Ferneham Hall always delivers some good production numbers. This year’s Disco Inferno number is suitably spectacular. Declan Randall’s lighting is also effective, particularly in a magic carpet sequence complete with ultra violet lighting. It’s the most stunning moment in the show.

Karis Anderson and Jason Denton bring enthusiasm, energy and powerful singing to the roles of the Genie of the Ring an the Genie of the Lamp, but Clive Mantle proves somewhat disappointing as Abanazar. He doesn’t really seem comfortable in the role and is not particularly villainous.

Christian Lee, from Britain’s Got Talent, is a decent magician, but he’s somewhat lacking in the demanding role of Wishee Washee while Matt Devitt is mainly noisy in the role of the Emperor. The musical talents of the versatile band, however, give the production a much-needed boost.

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Strong performances from the two genies elevate an otherwise patchy panto