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“Sweet and warm-hearted”

Every town or city has its own take on pantomime and the Cambridge Arts Theatre’s festive offering is neatly suited to its genteel surroundings. This year’s Aladdin shuns full-on gaudiness in favour of a family-orientated, and often rather sweet, show.

Written by Al Morley, the script is peppered with local place names and references. The set has a hand-drawn, illustrated storybook feel to it, there’s a Waitrose joke and Princess Waterlily (Suzie Mathers) opts to traverse Old Peking – how else? – by punt.

Likewise, there’s something quaintly old-school about the inclusion of tap dancing (courtesy of Wayne Sleep, who plays the baddie Abanazar), and ventriloquism from Max Fulham as Wishy-Washy and his sidekick Gordon the Monkey (who, according to the credits, is “playing himself”).

Aladdin at Cambridge Arts Theatre. Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

Fulham’s repartee with Matt Crosby’s Widow Twankey (marking six years for Crosby as the Cambridge Arts Theatre Dame) is one of the shining lights of this panto. There’s genuine warmth between the pair who nail the slapstick comedy moments in particular.

Crosby also gets to sport what is quite likely the panto Dame outfit of the year. Designed by Sue Simmerling for Carry on Costumes, it’s made of a hanging basket worn like a giant nappy and overflowing with pub garden flowers.

But above all, at the centre of proceedings are the children, including a small team of volunteers, making for a particularly warm-hearted and family-friendly pantomime.


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Production Details
Production nameAladdin
VenueArts Theatre
StartsNovember 29, 2018
EndsJanuary 6, 2019
Running time2hrs 20mins
AuthorAl Morley
DirectorPhil Clark
Costume designerSue Simmerling
Lighting designerMike Robertson
Sound designerTom Lishman
CastAndy Abraham, Fergal Mcgoff, Gareth Moran, Gordon The Monkey, Hettie Pearson, Holly Easterbrook, Liza Goddard, Matt Crosby, Max Fulham, Rosalind James, Suzie Mathers, Tamsin January, Tiffany Wells, Wayne Sleep, Zachary Adlam
Production managerFelix Davies
ProducerCambridge Arts Theatre
VerdictWarm-hearted pantomime with some fun local touches and spectacular costumes
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Rosemary Waugh

Rosemary Waugh

Rosemary Waugh

Rosemary Waugh

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