Perfect panto fun

By Jon Moreno

Friday, December 30, 2011

 

Perfect panto fun

The cast of Aladdin on stage at Medina Theatre. Picture by Jennifer Burton.

STAGE REVIEWTHERE WAS nothing wishey-washey about one of the Island’s biggest pantomimes of the year at Newport’s Medina Theatre.

It’s that time of year when Medina Theatre brings us a large-scale production of a festive favourite and the semi-professional show, Aladdin and His Magic Lamp, had hordes of youngsters spellbound throughout.

Littered with local references, to bring a few extra sniggers from the parents, including the Wightlink strike, it was a pretty slick, well produced show, with many more highs than lows to write home about.

As one would expect, there was plenty of audience participation, drama, effects and fun, but the show also included some very good illusions.

The only cast member to hail from the Island, Anthony Joblin, whose parents still live in Ryde, was an excellent Wishey-Washey and the Genie from the Lamp.

The beanpole actor, who has appeared several times on CBBC series Pixel Face, certainly knew how to get the best out of the audience, especially with his song, The Tiddly Widdly Winkie Tree.

Panto baddie Abanazer was superbly played by Lloyd Notice, with his great stage presence and booming voice. It was very easy to spot that he is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and gave the role his all from start to finish.

Tamsyn Sear, as Princess Yasmin, and Katherine Mansi, the Slave of the Ring, moved gracefully and sang sweetly throughout.

Howie Watkins certainly looked the part as classic panto dame, Widow Twankey, but he was not as over the top as I’d expected.

The performance of Michael Jordan, as Aladdin, was a bit of a Christmas turkey. He was competent enough on the unicycle and the ukulele and his tricks and illusions were good, but he had all the charisma of chancellor, George Osborne.

I expected much more enthusiasm from someone who had appeared on numerous TV shows, including Penn and Teller’s Fool Us.

Young members of PJ’s School of Dance, Newport, excelled themselves in many dance routines.

Reporter: jonm@iwcpmail.co.uk

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