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“Slick, high-energy pantomime”

In Hull New Theatre’s version of Aladdin, dancer and actor Jake Canuso rarely stands still. Sporting “magical cha-cha heels” he shows off his skills with the tango, ballet, tap and even – briefly – the can-can.

Introducing himself as “Benny Dorm” in a nod to his appearances on the ITV comedy series, his Spirit of the Dance is one of the pleasures of this slick, high-energy Qdos Entertainment pantomime.

It doesn’t have the lavish, 3D sequences of previous years, although the flying magic-carpet sequence and the towering genie puppet are impressive.

What it does have is an array of strong comic performances. Robin Askwith is a brilliant baddie as Abanazar, with his flicking reptilian tongue and soaring voice, he appears to be channelling the spirit of a Victorian ham actor. His comic interplay with the lovelorn Wishee Washee – Neil Hurst has the easy patter of a man accustomed to audience interaction – is among the highlights.

Simon Webbe charms in the title role, with some slick dance moves and nods to his boy band career, although Darren Machin, in an array of eye-popping costumes, not least a cleaning-inspired dress emblazoned with the Vanish logo, threatens to steal the show as Twankey.

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Production Details
Production nameAladdin
VenueHull New Theatre
StartsDecember 5, 2019
EndsDecember 29, 2019
Running time2hrs 15mins
AuthorAlan Mchugh, Jonathan Kiley
DirectorDavid Burrows
Musical directorJon Chamberlain
Lighting designerBen Cracknell
Sound designerPaul Philips
CastCharlotte Barnes, Darren Machin, Jake Canuso, Neil Hurst, Robin Askwith, Simon Webbe
VerdictSlick pantomime with some fancy dance moves that's not quite as dazzling as in previous years
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