You don't need me to tell you that Christmas is coming but you may need a Panto to get you in the Christmas spirit! I recently had the honour of watching Aladdin at Salisbury Playhouse and I am now ready to take on the festive period with all my might.
Salisbury Playhouse is a small theatre in Wiltshire. Aladdin is held in the Main House which seats 517. I have always liked small-medium theatres for their atmosphere that makes you feel almost at home.
Aladdin is a street urchin who falls in love with Princess Jasmine. In the way of their happily-ever-after is her extravagant father who insists she marries into a wealthy family. Aladdin must take a magical adventure to find riches and good fortune beyond his wildest dreams.
Most important things first...YES they have a flying carpet. I wouldn't want to give anything away so I will just say that it is impressive.
Here is a little glimpse of Aladdin on his magic flying carpet.
AS A PANTO
I must say that Writer Andrew Pollard and his team have done a fantastic job at making this everything that a pantomime should be. They have all the classic panto traditions. Oh no they don't. Oh yes they do. Along with a feel good story line.
It feels like it is rightly targeted at the whole family. For the younger audience there is modern music. For secret adult jokes there is the pantomime dame (Aladdin's mother, Widow Twanky). The humour throughout is relevant to the latest news as well as the location of theatre.
On the night we watched the show there was a large group of children from the Scouts watching. There is an act based in a launderette which is particularly slapstick and the funniest thing for me was hearing the children crying with laughter.
The set is impressive for the size of the theatre with all the props and scenery you would need to bring the performance to life. Set in China, the stage is beautifully colourful and full of movement to hold everyone's attention.
I also like that they make full use of the trap doors to under the stage and lots of pyrotechnics. It enhanced the magic of the genies.
The launderette act which I mentioned above is extremely well done setting with enormous washing machines and liquid spraying. It is no wonder this had the children wide-eyed.
ACTORS - My top picks
Rebecca Hazel plays Princess Jasmine and wins the award for the most beautiful voice. Matched with Tyler Fayose playing Aladdin they are full of life and perfectly directed for this family focused show.
Melissa Brown-Taylor (Genie of the Lamp) and Nerine Skinner (Genie of the Ring) play completely different characters but are fantastic in their own right. Full of sass, these ladies own the stage whenever they are on it. Their parts were really well written to get loads of laughs.
My favourite act by miles is between these two characters. The Emperor (Fred Broom) and Widow Twanky (Richard Ede) do a rendition of Bonnie Tyler's 'Turn Around'.
Overall it is a funny, lighthearted family show with a lot of audience participation. I would recommend this as a treat for children and adults to relax you after the stress of preparing for Christmas. My fiancé, Jamie and I left in such a good mood. The show is running until 7th January 2017 and since it isn't a Christmas related plot, it would be just as enjoyable in the New Year as a fun start to 2017.
If you are watching the show to celebrate a special occasion, make sure you contact the theatre to let them know who you are with: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Salisbury Playhouse
Honest review: Salisbury Playhouse gifted me with the opportunity to review this production. This has absolutely no influence on my opinions made in this post.
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