REVIEW: Magic carpet flies into town and the cast receive a standing ovation
One of the last people to be cast in Aladdin at the Waterside Theatre was Aladdin himself, Danny Colligan.
Consequently he does not appear on any of the promotional posters at the theatre or on the cover of the show programme. Which is a shame because, for me, Danny is the undisputed star of the show.
Twenty-four-year-old Danny, who hails from up north has a powerful singing voice and great energy on stage, perhaps honed from his time working in the West End. He leads some fabulous routines in the show, somehow even managing to sing powerfully and keep his balance whilst flying on a pretty small magic carpet, and shares several tender moments with Princess Jasmine, played sweetly by Jasmin Walia who has a pretty voice of her own.
His mum Widow Twankey is sensationally presented by La Voix in a memorable performance and outrageous brightly coloured costumes.
Widow Twankey shares several scenes with her other son, Wishee Washee, played by our own lovable Andy Collins, now the star of BBC Three Counties Radio Breakfast Show (how he is going to have the stamina to keep up his morning show as well as the entire panto run is anyone’s guess). Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee star together with PC Pong (director Chris Nelson) in the most madcap rendition yet of The Twelve Days of Christmas. And if you have just had your hair done, or are wearing a new outfit, you might want to take an umbrella or raincoat to protect yourself during this scene.
But the most memorable and hilarious part of the entire panto is when Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee don ballet outfits to entertain Abanazar (powerfully played by Nicholas Pound), Princess Jasmine and her father the Emperor (David Whitworth). Truly, this is brilliant.
The story of Aladdin involves two genies of course, and when Aladdin finds himself trapped inside a cave he discovers a dusty old lamp and gives it a rub, to find Joel Ekperigin make an impressive acrobatic entrance as the masterful and muscular Genie of the Lamp.
Michelle Collins, who looks stunning in a sparkling pink outfit, plays a rather frenzied Genie of the Ring and makes several references to EastEnders, the soap she is most famous for. Despite singing during her career she sings only once in the panto, very briefly, at the end of the show.
The audience gave the show a well deserved standing ovation. Aladdin is on at the Waterside until Saturday December 31.
Full details at www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury