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Aladdin, Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Published by: GRAHAM CLARK on 7th Dec 2015 | View all blogs by GRAHAM CLARK

There is nothing like going into a theatre to hear the noise all the excited children make like when it's pantomime time.

 The Nottingham panto this year stars Christopher Biggins as Widow Twankey, Simon Webbe as Aladdin and Ben Nickless as Wishee Washee. It raised a few eyebrows when Simon Webb was cast to star as Aladdin: the star is better known as being a member of the pop group, Blue and latterly as being on I'm A Celebritory and of course runner up on Strictly. I need not have worried as he took to the role with charm, humour and of course he can sing and dance.

Christopher Biggins is a natural and he has settled into being the Dame in the panto very well, his rapport with the children and the grown ups was spontaneous and infectious.

 Ben Nickless is part Billy Pearce and part Joe Pasquale, he has some great one liners in the panto and his impressions range from Alan Carr to Kevin Webster from Coronation Street! His cheeky chappy persona won him many new fans in the audience.

The theatre is celebrating its 150th birthday so what a good idea it was for Biggins to make his entrance out of a huge birthday cake with the figures 150 on it. The special effects start within 10 minutes of the curtain going up: a huge slippery serpent weaves its way across the stage.  In the second half Webb travels on a magic carpet which comes out into the audience.

The costumes are as colourful and extravagant as you would expect. Whilst the dancers along with the younger dancers add a touch of youthfulness to the proceedings.

There is the Genie of the Lamp too who rises out of the side of the stage.

Keeping the music in the show up to date the cast perform the Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars track, Uptown Funk whilst there are two One Direction songs included too. What might have been a new song to most of the audience, the Stevie Wonder track, Another Star worked well as the first half concluded in The Cave of Wonders.

James Barron is an old hand at playing baddies in the panto so he plays Abanazar with ease, he is menacing and convincing. Emilie Du Leslay plays Princes Jasmine with innocence.

Being in the pop group Blue is the perfect excuse for their biggest hit, One Love to be performed by Simon Webb.  

The show is fast paced, no scene goes on too long so that the younger members of the audience get bored. This is a panto for all and the smiling faces that I saw when leaving the theatre said it all. Entertaining, uplifting and a real tonic for any winter blues. 

Highly enjoyable.

Runs until Sunday 10 January 2015.

Tickets from:



1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 2 years ago
    Thanks, Graham. Perfect Christmas fun!
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