He’s Behind You!!
Oh no you’re not!
Oh Yes we are!
Three fun phrases that are bound to get the audience shouting and screaming at a pantomime.
I love this time of year and one of the highlights of the year is always taking the kids to the pantomime. This year I got to do two in one week, taking Sebastian to see Cinderella at the Pavilion with pre-school and Eliza and Isaac to see Aladdin at Lighthouse Poole with the school.
I am sad to admit that Cinderella was really disappointing. It was far too long, the cast didn’t really gel and Sebby wanted to go home at the interval, so I was a little wary of my second panto trip to see Aladdin.
It couldn’t have been more different and it was the best, traditional pantomime I have ever been to.
None of these fancy 3D special effects that terrify the kids, just good old-fashioned acting, circus skills, dancing, fun and colourful sets, costume changes, a fun flying carpet ride and lively songs that old and young adore.
As we arrived and got seated the cast were already on stage, performing tricks and circus acts so the children were not bored waiting for it to start. I loved how they seemingly got a volunteer to come from the audience to walk the tightrope, but it was actually Max Bowden (Waterloo Road). He subsequently “fell off” and banged his head and we were transported to the magical world of Peking and the story of Aladdin.
The pantomime followed the story of Aladdin perfectly as he had to outwit his dastardly foe of Abanazer, played brilliantly by Peter Duncan, to win the hand of beautiful Princess XiaoXue (Sapphire Elia). The comedy element came from Widow Twankey, played with gusto by Adam Price and nutty jobsworth police officers, Joey Joey and Pantaloon (Chris Larner and Laura Curnick) who had the audience whopping, clapping and shouting.
There was the traditional sing-a-long with kids up on stage and I proudly watched as Eliza was chosen to go up on stage. She got her lines right and revelled in the audience all saying “aaahhhhh” everytime it was her go, as she was the youngest up on stage. I was also impressed that the kids got a cute cuddly toy penguin from The Ark as a gift for being up on stage, rather than a cheap and nasty £1 shop toy that normally happens.
The real scene-stealer of the show is Miguel Angel as the sparkly Genie of the Lamp who rocks up as a magic-maker with the style, with moves and sound of Michael Jackson, Prince, Freddie Mercury and David Bowie.
Joey Joey and Pantaloon “stopped” the show in the second half to make sure that the actors have included all the traditional pantomime features. I was a little unsure at first but it turned out to be the best bit of the show as the genie waved a little magic which ended up with the whole auditorium filled with kids joining in with Pantaloons Honey G impression………we may not like her on X-Factor but it is clear that kids adore her!!
It is not often I gush about a production, however, this was so good we are going back again!
Well done Duncan Reeves Productions and Lighthouse Poole – you have a winning Pantomime this year!
Photo Credit: Peter Budd