Here at We Are Chester HQ, we’ve been thoroughly enjoying panto season this year. We recently headed over to Theatr Clwyd to watch Sleeping Beauty, as well as squeezing in a cheeky visit to the Forum Studio Theatre to see Cinderella. Oh yes we have! We’ve also enjoyed a trip to Ellesmere Port Civic Hall to watch Dick Whittington, and this time we’re off to Anton Benson Productions’s sister show, Aladdin over at Northwich Memorial Court. Over to Tori Erskine to tell us more. Photos: Tori Erskine.
As we took our seats in the theatre, on stage we were greeted by a bright, glimmering curtain with Aladdin written on it, ready to go up for the show to begin. The theatre was filled with excited families, and also a number of adults scattered around to watch the show too – proving panto is for everyone, not just the kids.
Katy Oliver opens the show as the Genie, her friendly, warm-hearted tone makes the audience feel right at home and gets everyone ready for a magical show.
Aladdin tells the tale of a young man who falls in love with the Princess Jasmine and a quest to find a magic lamp, however, what’s a fairytale without a bit of drama and an evil villain? Naturally, the audience start to boo as evil Abanazar (Charlie Lawson) and his sidekick the Slave of the Ring (Vicki Michelle) take to the stage, and you can’t help but help but chuckle at the Allo Allo and Coronation Street references that had been weaved into the script, and the characters played to these extremely well.
Meeting Aladdin’s (Ronan Parke) family, his brother (Ryan Greaves) and mother (Steve Moorewood) was the perfect contrast to the dastardly villains. Ryan and Steve are regulars at the Northwich panto, and you can see why. They are a hilarious pair and just like the Genie made the audience feel at ease and laugh out loud – even if in the 12 Days of Christmas song they went into the audience with water pistols!
Ronan Parke made his panto debut this year and I really hope to see him make his way into more theatre productions in the future. If you rewind back to 2011 you’ll remember him storming his way into the finals of Britain’s Got Talent, and you can see why, his voice was just simply unbelievable. One of the most notable highlights of the show being when Aladdin and Princess Jasmine (Georgie Jackson) are literally flying on a magic carpet singing Take That’s ‘Rule the World.’ Their voices entwined perfectly together, and it really was magical watching the carpet fly over the audience.
Filled with puns, plenty of laughs and a happy-ever-after, Aladdin is the perfect show that all the family to enjoy this Christmas.
Anton Benson Productions will be returning to Northwich Memorial Court this Easter with Alice in Wonderland. Tickets can be found here.