Love them or hate them, there is no getting away from them at this time of the year – it’s officially Pantomime season!
This year's panto at the Liverpool Empire is Aladdin, with Dancing on Ice champion and X Factor finalist Ray Quinn in the starring role and fellow scouser and former Brookside star, Claire Sweeney, co-starring as the Genie of the Ring. Empire regulars Pete Price and Leanne Campbell from Radio City, as the Emperor and Princess, ensure this is a particularly Liverpool show.
The glitzy scenery, stunning costumes and brilliant dance choreography make for a visual spectacle. Ray Quinn, is instantly likeable and got the show off to a great start with an uplifting version of Pharrell Williams' ‘Happy’, while lively performances of One Direction, the Rocky Horror Show and Daft Punk hits all had the audience on their feet and singing along.
The jokes came thick and fast, with puns, slapstick and hilarious misunderstandings providing the laughs with Liverpool and its residents receiving a gentle mocking throughout.
For me it was Ben Engelen as Aladdin's brother Wishee Washee and Adam Curtis as PC Pong, who stole the show and kept the audience amused. Their fantastic take on the 12 Days of Christmas with Widow Twankey was my highlight of the show and from the reaction of the audience I think they agreed.
At just two hours long, Aladdin packs plenty in and is a must for the family this Christmas. Children and adults alike will be entertained.
Aladdin runs at the Liverpool Empire until January 4.