I was lucky enough to be invited along to the New Victoria Theatre in Woking, where the story of Aladdin unfolded in a truly magical way when it flew into town earlier this week.
As usual with Woking’s Pantomimes, there were some incredible sets. This year they had a flying magic carpet and it was indeed pure magic to see the thrilled looks on some of the smaller children’s faces as they watched Aladdin fly high above them and up over the audience.
The star of the pantomime is without doubt the inimitable Bobby Davro, who stepped up his performance throughout the show. And he was indeed the lynch-pin of the production with his quick fire impressions and gags. What on earth was that kangaroo doing to him? And try explaining that to your children when you leave the theatre!!
Bobby Davro’s partner in crime, Widow Twankey, is played by the delicious David Phipps-Davis, and he has to be by far one of the best dames I’ve seen for many a year. With more than a passing resemblance to Alan Carr, he is also possessed of a voice that wouldn’t go amiss in some of the great Opera Houses of the land.
Of course, what would any pantomime be without a Christmas song? Wishee Washee, Widow Twanky, and The Chief of Police, did their own unique version of the 12 days of Christmas, which was hilarious throughout, whilst Brendan Cole (as the genie of the ring) was permanently dashing into the audience in search of toilet Rolls.
The love interest comes from CBBCs Mischa Eckersley as Princess Jasmine and Pearce Barron doing the honour’s as Aladdin.
Finally a great pantomime needs a villain to boo, and this was ably provided by Jonny Fines as Abanazar.
The music, singing, dance and sheer spectacle are wonderful, but a special mention must go to the unwitting star of the show The Panda who unfortunately didn’t seem to get a credit in the Programme.
This is a show with a big heart that hits all the right notes. is indeed memorable and has a talented cast.
Reviewed by Neil Mcfarlane
FOLLOW WEST END WILMA