Despite some flashy costumes and a couple of impressive musical set pieces, this Qdos production of Aladdin takes a while to get going. It’s very much a show of two halves.
The first half is half-baked as it plods towards the interval and headliner Tony Maudsley gives a particularly half-hearted performance, capped off by a lazily lip-synched musical number.
But then the Benidorm star picks up the pace in the second act, and the rest follow suit. This injection of energy is exactly what the production needs and it makes for an enjoyable final half hour. Richard Roe’s choreography of the 12 Days of Christmas routine is particularly entertaining, and it’s here that we see Maudsley and panto dame Kevin Johns at their comedic best.
Matt Edwards, meanwhile, appears to be in an entirely different show. The Britain’s Got Talent performer commands the stage. His superb brand of comedy and magic is a real highlight.
Edwards’ performance aside, the lack of energy in the first half is a real issue. There’s a lot to enjoy in Michael Vivian’s production but it makes the audience wait for it.