aladdin leads

Sam Rabone as Widow Twankey, Adrian Bevan as Aladdin, Cat Sandion as the Princess and Ben Thornton as Wishee Washee


Lichfield Garrick


Once again Lichfield Garrick have got the ingredients of their Christmas pantomime perfectly balanced with this year’s tasty offering Aladdin.

It’s a rich mix of laughs, colour, dance, music, great writing and a skilled cast who add a home grown seasoning to this spectacular production.

Filling the variety of dame’s shoes is Sam Rabone as Widow Twankey who teases every last bit of comedy from the clever script written by Paul Hendy. Of course there’s a whole wardrobe of outrageous costumes to aid him but there is real joy brought to the part and the continuing run of local gags all helps in getting the laughs.

Ben Thornton is Wishee Washee and generates the lion’s share of audience participation while the puns and silly gags come thick and fast especially when accompanied by Widow Twankey. There’s a lot of clever word play, some of it aimed at the older audience, especially in one section where they converse with the aid of barrow load of old Vinyl records and the Bands’ names.

James Mitchell plays PC Pongo and precisely positioned his performance perfectly with a stream of alliteration monologues and circus skills. Teamed with Washee and Twankey the trio brought off a hilarious old school slapstick routine that had the kids in fits of laughter.

Robin Johnson was suitably evil as Abanazar having great fun delivering his character like some highly affected thespian. The baddy role is always a tough one as even in the curtain calls they always get a booing.

Local girl Lizzie Wofford continues to make her stage presence known with a genuine Yam Yam Brummie take on her role as The Spirit of the Ring. If anyone has permission to send up the local accents its Lizzie. Having seen her in her one woman show, it was great to see her deliver a fabulous glitzy performance as part of this entertaining production and her vocal skills raised the musical element on the night. Another strong vocalist was Cameron Johnson as the Genie of the Lamp adding a street wise R & B flavour to his role.

With all the crazy action and mayhem, CBeebies presenter Cat Sandion was probably grateful to be the named lead but suitably reserved in her role as the Princess alongside Adrian Bevan who plays Aladdin with fitting boyband reserve.

There was some very tidy dance numbers and with the addition of some very capable local youngsters adding to the pro cast as the villagers they completed what was a very home grown feeling to the occasion. 

At one point Widow Twankey quips that you don’t get pantomime like this in Birmingham and she might be right. The writing pokes harmless fun at not only the region and location but the pantomime form itself. There’s more than enough here to keep everyone entertained with colour , seasonal festivity, great costumes and performances and a couple of big on stage surprises .

Aladdin is true fun filled family event delivered by a cast that look like a fun filled family themselves. To 06-01-18

Jeff Grant


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