OK, I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for panto. I love all the hissing and booing, handsome heroes, venemous villains, usually risque dames and the magical world of festive farce.
So I’m easily pleased, but this production is the best I’ve ever seen – oh yes it is! It’s funny, fast and the cast have so much fun it’s infectious.
Whether it’s the powerful performance from Corrie serial killer Brian Capron as the saturnine Abanazar, CBBC’s Ed Petrie as the dim but adorable Wishee Washee or BGT’s Sarah Jameson getting in a muddle about whether she’s the genie of the ring or the lamp, it’s all gloriously over-the-top and ends happily ever after.
In addition there’s Kieran Sutcliffe as Widow Twankey whose mannerisms make you smile before he’s even uttered a word. And the scene where he morphs into ballerina Farty Trussell had the audience howling with laughter.
Ditto the rendition of Twelve Days of Christmas. This involved various items from a Chinese take-away including five spring rolls being hurled into the stalls with gay abandon.
Joe Ashman as Aladdin sings and dances up a storm and Olivia Chan as Princess Jasmine is suitably demure with a sweet voice. And I adored the incredibly camp member of the Imperial guard, who manicures his nails and minces about the stage.
Don’t miss it, it really is a Christmas cracker.
> Aladdin at Dunstable’s Grove Theatre until January 2. Call the Box Office on 01582 602080.