This Qdos production of Aladdin is the Regent’s best panto for years. It oozes quality and with local hero Jonathan Wilkes in the title role, it simply can’t go wrong.
In his 12th year as a panto star in his hometown venue, Wilkes has a loyal following and never disappoints even though some of the shows he has starred in, like last year’s First Family Cinderella, have lacked originality. That’s certainly not an issue this year. Everything about this production is fresh and imaginative, not least the genuinely exciting 3D sequences.
The flying carpet scenes are brilliantly presented, too, and even the singalong song sheet is given a welcome makeover with an original verse that’s impossible to master without inadvertently coming out with rude words, as the plucky youngsters on stage soon discover.
Wilkes’ long-standing partnership with Christian Patterson (Widow Twankey) means the pair are always relaxed and spark easily off each other during comic turns. Both have fine singing voices but with so much to pack in, there is little opportunity to use them. The show, which features glorious sets, sumptuous costumes and dazzlingly gymnastic dancers, zips along so speedily that it’s over before you know it.