Kathryn Quayle reviews Aladdin – the wok ‘n’ roll panto that’s packing them in at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold
The temperature may be dropping but at Mold’s Clwyd Theatr Cymru there is one hot party sure to warm up the whole family this winter.
Aladdin – The Wok ‘n’ Roll Panto sees the winning team of writer/director Peter Rowe and designer Judith Croft come together again to produce yet another legendary festive treat.
Even before the show starts, the fun begins as members of the 10-strong cast mingle with the audience cracking jokes and laughing with youngsters.
The multi-talented cast of actor/musicians play and sing more than 20 classic songs, including I’m a Believer, Reach Out, ABC, Lean on Me, and Dancing in the Street.
And, of course, there are the usual slapstick capers, audience participation and corny jokes that ensures this show will be enjoyed by the whole family, be they eight or 80.
The show tells the tale of innocent local boy Aladdin who finds a magic lamp, complete with a wish-granting genie who turns him into a prince so he can woo the Princess – who’s also pursued in a creepy way by the evil Abanazer.
After a brief break from the theatre’s pantomime the magnificent Phylip Harries has returned to the stage as Widow Twankey. This man was born to wear a dress and is the ultimate dame – the best the annual pantomime has ever had.
Playing saxophone, clarinet, flute and piccolo during the performance, he has real musical skill as well as superb comic timing. It is obvious from the start that he really does work with the audience and has them rolling in the aisles with laughter.
Lucia Rovardi is superb as the Genie and brings some real sparkle to the show, as is Daniel Lloyd as the Emperor, Toby Lord as Aladdin and Alex Parry who steals many scenes as the ultimate bad guy, Abanazer.
With a talented team it’s difficult to praise one member of the cast above the rest, but for me James Haggie as the silly and endearing Wishee Washee provided a standout performance. His comic timing and voices were excellent. He is a talented guitarist and has a surprisingly strong singing voice, in my opinion the strongest of the cast.
By the end of the night the audience were on their feet clapping, singing and dancing along.
With the right mix of comedy, music, story and spectacle, Aladdin – The Wok ‘n’ Roll Panto is a must see for all the family.
The show runs until January 29. Call the box office on 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.