Review: Watch 'hilarious' pantomime at Queen's Theatre
PUBLISHED: 18:43 01 December 2015 | UPDATED: 18:44 01 December 2015
It's panto time again and this year, Hornchurch's Queen's Theatre is transporting audiences to the Far East for a tale of dashing heroes and dastardly villains.
The theatre’s production of Aladdin is full of traditional pantomime one-liners, double entendres and a few modern pop culture references to bring it up to date.
While it was Aladdin without a lad in for the main role – played by Naomi Bullock – there was plenty of drama and enthusiasm alongside Rachel Nottingham’s Princess Jasmine.
Sam Pay shines as “baddie” Abanazar, bringing the role to life with his Brian Blessed-esque full-barrelled evil voice.
His dry take, melodious lines and timing tickled the audience on a deeper level than the – albeit amusing – slapstick routines in other scenes.
Youngsters clung to their parents and hid behind their booster seats as his loud booms reverberated off the walls.
But they soon recovered for the next scene, with the sparkling production taking the audience on a rollercoaster – or rather, magic carpet ride – of highs and lows, from the hilarious to the downright terrifying.
Music consultant Carol Sloman and musical director Dan de Cruz’s creative score has a starring role in the show, ranging from Benny Hill-inspired chase scenes to discordant melodies to cast a sinister atmosphere over Abanazar’s evil plots.
Thomas Sutcliffe’s Genie appeared to fly through the smoke across the stage, with nimble movements and sharp pirouettes.
But the highlight of the show was the incredible magic carpet scene – a mystical must-see.
There was also a somewhat surreal bus scene with a neon Punch and Judy, one of the many inventive twists included in the production.
Callum Hughes has given his Emperor of China a brisk upper class drawl, which belongs to someone years older, and the school children perform lovely cameo roles and dance routines.
And of course, no pantomime would be complete without a dame and Widow Twankey provided some sauce and sass to the proceedings.
Aladdin will run until January 9. Visit queens-theatre.co.uk.