Going to a panto each year is a tradition of ours. We love getting in the festive spirit by enjoying a show that encapsulates fun and magic. Last year the Lighthouse at Poole put on a more traditional play of Peter Pan, whilst I absolutely adored it, they opted for a good old panto this year. And my gosh did they do well!
This year they went for Aladdin, the tale of a poor boy who falls in love with a princess. Though of course with all pantos, there was several twists and turns to the traditional tale. Written and directed by Peter Duncan, this panto definitely packs a punch and leaves you roaring with laughter no matter the age.
Photos courtesy of Richard Budd
I don't want to give too much of the story away as it will definitely spoil some jokes and aspects of the script. But let me say that it runs smoothly with all the "He's behind you" and "Boo's" you can ask for. There are some fantastic songs that get the whole audience dancing and tapping their feet. Max was moving and grooving in the aisles as he loved the song choice so much!
There was plenty of audience participation, with several kids going up on stage throughout the show. There were also more than enough adult related puns to keep the parents amused too! Scott couldn't stop laughing at some of the topical jokes, whilst me and Max absolutely loved the slapstick element! The perfect amount to keep everyone entertained. Also, at just under two hours long, this show is perfect for all ages as it's long enough to hold everyone's attention.
The casting for the panto was perfect. Max Bowden and Sapphire Elia perfectly complimented each other as Aladdin and Princess XiaoXue. Both were fantastic singers and performers and you could feel the chemistry on stage. The supporting cast of Widow Twankey and the silly policemen (Max's words!) were perfect at providing the right amount of outrageous humour that a panto needs. They had us in fits of laughter and were real assets to the show.
The star of the show was one you wouldn't expect, the Genie. Performed by Miguel Angel, he cleverly won us over with his renditions of rock gods such as Michael Jackson, Bowie and Freddie Mercury. Let's just say he was a real stage stealer and we couldn't wait for this enigmatic character to grace the stage.
Aladdin has everything you would want in a panto. Enough cheers, boos, sing-alongs and audience participation to have you leaving the theatre with giant grins on your face and desperate to tell everyone you know how fantastic it is. Might I say it's even my favourite panto ever?