Ooh I do love a panto and Aladdin at the Shaw Theatre certainly didn’t disappoint. It is the second year for ‘Plummer Wood Productions’ and they are certainly proving that they are here to stay in panto land.
Aladdin is packed with panto punches from beginning to end, full of catchy songs, an abundance of glittery costumes, stunning washes of colour and all the jazz hands you could wish for. You can sit back and savour a spectacular magic carpet ride (watch out for that big moment).
All the old favourite panto gags are in there with the odd reference shoehorned in for the sake of the adults. Audience participation was milked to the max and when the pace picked up in the second half, they were positively raucous. ‘Twelve days of Xmas’ was perfectly executed and had the audience in stitches. The good old Ghostbusters’ song was in there, everyone still revelling in the ‘We’ll have to sing it again then, won’t we?’ It doesn’t matter how many times you hear the same jokes, if they are delivered well, they raise the roof.
This production boasts a fabulous cast –
Ben Richards – you may know him from The Bill, however he is musical theatre to the core (Rock of Ages, Priscilla, Guys and Dolls) – is a brilliantly evil Abanazar and La Voix (semi-finalist in Britain’s Got Talent) as Widow Twankey is everything a dame should be. Paul Lawrence-Thomas played an excellent Wishee Washee, keeping the audience on their toes with his fast one-liners which just kept on coming. Matthew Wesley (Chicago, Cabaret, From Here to Eternity) did the Genie of the Lamp so much justice, suitably honed and glittery. Justin Thomas (Dirty Dancing, Wicked) is a perfect Aladdin and the rendition of ‘Let it Go’ with Lauren Storer (Chicago, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Genie of the Ring was a show-stopping moment. The children were straight up on their feet shouting “It’s Frozen” and performing all the actions with gusto – good move Plummer Wood Productions, you certainly know how to press panto buttons! Louise Plummer’s choreography works beautifully (good job ensemble and panto babes!) and ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams as the finale was a terrific way to finish the show. Well done to the rest of the cast, and creative team and thank you so much to The Shaw Theatre for being the perfect hosts. We will be back.
Aladdin at the Shaw Theatre runs until the 3rd of January and is well worth a visit.
Review by Nadia Ellerton
Plummer Wood Productions Presents Aladdin – Traditional Pantomime in the heart of London
Starring BEN RICHARDS as ABANAZAR and Britain’s Got Talent’s LA VOIX as WIDOW TWANKEY
Following last year’s highly successful production of Cinderella, Plummer Wood Productions is delighted to return to the Shaw Theatre in Kings Cross with a new production of Aladdin from Thursday 11th December, starring Ben Richards as Abanazar and Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist La Voix as Widow Twankey.
Aladdin is a traditional pantomime for the whole family, featuring a live band, stunning sets, glittering costumes, and plenty of audience participation. Aladdin promises to be a truly spectacular pantomime, and one of the only traditional pantomimes in central London. So get ready to take a magical carpet ride on an enchanting journey you’ll remember forever!
Ben Richards recently starred in the UK Tour of Rock of Ages, with other recent theatre including leading roles in Oliver! at Sheffield Crucible, the UK Tour of 9 to 5, Priscilla Queen of the Desert at The Palace Theatre, Guys And Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre, Grease at the Victoria Palace Theatre and Saturday Night Fever at the London Palladium. Ben is well known for TV roles including PC Nate Roberts in The Bill, Justin in Holby City and Bruno Milligan in Footballers’ Wives.
La Voix is a 2014 Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist, whose accolades include Best Drag Act at this year’s London Cabaret Awards. A vivacious performer with live spine tingling vocals, La Voix’s uncanny ability to switch between the vocal styles of Tina Turner, Shirley Bassey, Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland or Cher with the click of a finger leaves audiences mesmerised.
The cast also features Justin Thomas (Wicked, Dirty Dancing) as Aladdin, Helen Kurup (CBBC’s I Dream) as Princess Jasmine, Matthew Wesley (From Here to Eternity, Cabaret) as Genie of the Lamp, Lauren Storer as Genie of the Ring, Paul Lawrence Thomas as Wishee Washee, Oliver Broad as PC Pongo and Mark Lyminster as Emperor of China.
100-110 Euston Rd, London NW1 2AJ
Thursday 11th December 2014 to Saturday 3rd January 2015
Box office 0844 248 5075
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This musical is looking to be a huge success in 2018, so if you are looking to book Tina The Musical Tickets, then book early to get the best deals – evenings and matinees at the Aldwych Theatre, London.