St Joseph’s Players’ pantomime Aladdin – currently showing at the Todmorden Hippodrome Theatre – brings a burst of colour and warmth to a cold winter’s evening.
The show, produced by Julie Bates, has the Players’ usual mix of colourful characters with a strong and lively chorus who waste no time in opening the show alongside the fearsome Abanazer, played by regular Colin Bates, taking on the role of this year’s baddie.
In a twist to the traditional panto tale, Aladdin is left to run the family’s laundry business with his sisters, Wishy, expertly played by Penny Law, who takes the lead in the laundry business supported by the hapless Washy, Heather Gibson, who needs a gentle nudge to prompt her into rolling up her sleeves!
Aladdin, a love struck street rat, is dreamily portrayed by Hannah Sandiford, and the beautiful Princess Jasmine is played perfectly by Lydia Bates, who is now becoming a familiar face in the Players’ productions. Their on-stage interaction clearly displays itself in a number of expertly performed duets.
Aladdin finds himself up against the Sultan and his laws forbidding commoners from associating with royalty. The seasoned Ian Hill takes on the role of the Sultan, a clueless character who relies heavily on the fiendish Abanazar and his dim-witted sidekick Amir, played by newcomer Ashley Arrowsmith. Gill Lowe provides a colourful and somewhat modest Genie assisting Aladdin in saving the day.
The plot follows an original take on the traditional fairy tale with a number of twists and turns to keep you entertained. Every character adds to the overall quality of the performance and the stage staff certainly seize their opportunity to dazzle, with a glitzy cave full of treasure a highlight of the evening.
The story is carried along by a strong and confident chorus whose dance routines, choreographed by Starr Eames and Megan Hunt, and musical numbers will certainly keep your toes tapping all the way home! With colourful and eye catching costumes the standard of the show is very high and maintains the group’s reputation.
Aladdin runs tonight and tomorrow (Saturday, January 18, 7.30pm). This year’s show has an extra matinee performance on Saturday afternoon at 2pm. Tickets are available online at www.aladdin2014.ticketsource.co.uk or from Todmorden Information Centre.