REVIEW - All and Sundry's Aladdin brought real magic to Bromsgrove School's Cobham Theatre - The Bromsgrove Standard

REVIEW - All and Sundry's Aladdin brought real magic to Bromsgrove School's Cobham Theatre

Bromsgrove Editorial 15th Dec, 2023 Updated: 15th Dec, 2023   0

IT WAS more than just the lamp that was magical when All and Sundry returned to the panto stage tonight with Aladdin.

The classic tale was told, as it should be, with plenty of great acting, singing, dancing, stockingfuls of one-liners, a sprinkling of slapstick, colourful costumes and plenty of audience interaction.

Laura Cooney as Won Hung Lo, Emma-Louise Hodgson as Khazi, Ken Messenger as the Emperor and Zena Schtyk as the Empress all put in solid performances.

Archie Marks was popular with the audience as Wishee Washee, ensuring those watching got involved by stamping their feet and doing a Mexican-wave style greeting every time he entered the action.

PC Ping (Dave Healey) and PC Pong (Graham Forbes) were the perfect ‘henchmen’ as the hapless police officers. They were so in-tune with each other they could finish each other’s sentences and often did. They got plenty of laughs with their antics and their ‘Dedicated Followers of Justice’ duet was among my favourite songs.

Pantomime stalwart James Ralley had one of his best performances in these traditional Christmas shows – he was made to play the camp Genie. He had the audience chuckling along and some real laugh out loud moments. He also did his fair share of improvisation in response to the crowd’s reaction.

Abanazer – played meticulously by Tony Madden – was all you would want a baddie to be. He relished in the boos and got plenty of them – every one well deserved, each time he emerged from the wings. He was another one who built up a great rapport with the crowd.

Daisy Green ensured Princess Jasmine was taken to the audience’s hearts and her duet with the Spirit of the Ring and her solo were among the most memorable musical moments.

David Mann returned as the dame – this time Widow Twankey – and, with his/her array of audacious dresses and wigs, was fantastic. His comedic lines were perfectly delivered – with plenty for the adults to titter at. The launderette scene with PCs Ping and Pong was arguably the funniest of the night with the lion’s share of the slapstick. The only criticism was either his mic needs turning up or the backing track lowering on his solos. ‘Let Me Do Your Laundry’ (to the tune of Robbie Williams’ Let Me Entertain you) looked to be the funniest song of the night but a lot of the lines were lost to the music.

And Dave Berrisford, after two successful years as Captain Hook, was excellent in the lead role of Aladdin. He had the audience in the palm of his hand – especially the children who jumped at the chance to shout out every time he asked for advice.

The UV light show was as wonderful as it always is with a dragon and other characters and the magic carpet scene with Aladdin’s solo just before the interval took the special effects – literally – to another level.

Another highlight was the duet between Aladdin and Princess Jasmine to Madness’ ‘It Must Be Love’. Each told their stories while the other sang the song and vice versa – which, as well as being effective, looked like it took a lot of concentration.

Thanks to the Stage Door Dance Academy, the routines were well-choreographed and delivered, including tap-dancing, a touch of acrobatics and with feathers during Arabian Night.

Likewise, the Ensemble members also played their part and the well-designed set was fitting for the panto which played out before us.

Well done to director Alison Berrisford and her backstage team for bringing the magic of pantomime to Bromsgrove again.

This show is well worth a watch and is perfect to get everyone – young or old – into the Christmas spirit.

Aladdin runs at Bromsgrove School’s Cobham Theatre runs until next Saturday, December 23.

Click here for times, tickets and more information.

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