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To mark the opening of the Lichfield Garrick’s new panto, regular theatre reviewer Phil Preece stepped aside for a night to allow 12-year-old Jay-Jay Green to cast his critical eye over proceedings as Aladdin and pals began their festive run in the city…
Ever since I wrote the review of The Sleeping Beauty last year’s Lichfield Garrick panto I knew it was going to be hard to beat after the five-star rating I’d given it – but this year seems even better.
I’ve looked forward to this Aladdin all year and I wasn’t disappointed. There’s never a dull moment, and this year’s show is even funnier.
It had lots of special things I really enjoyed. For a start, if there is a mistake in the panto they make it funny, in fact, I think they do it on purpose.
They tell the story brilliantly – it was as good as pantos I’ve seen in much bigger theatres. There are whole funny scenes that really make you cry with laughter. There are flying scenes, there are big statue fights, in fact there is something for everyone – there is love, (huh) and plenty of comedy plus a really nasty villain.
But the best is the dame. He/she (his name’s Sam Rabone) plays the perfect character of large lady and all of the other actors play their roles perfectly with the perfect voice, the perfect look, the perfect smile and just the right humour for each character.
The younger people (about my age) were brilliant as Egyptian mummies, they kept in time and didn’t laugh even though they’re so young. The audience participation was incredibly funny. They smashed it!
I reckon it’s five stars easily.
Last year I said The Sleeping Beauty was the funniest panto I had ever seen but I have changed my mind. Now this is the funniest I have ever seen. This panto will be really hard to beat. When the genie appeared there was a firecracker that popped – it scared me every time.
I was laughing the whole time and so were Phil and his Mom.
This is a great panto for all ages. Well done to all of the actors and the director. It’s definitely worth your hard-earned money – you will not only have a good night out, you’ll laugh till you cry.
Jay’s assistant Phil Preece was allowed to tag along. He said: “The pantomime dame has been a peculiarity of English theatre since Shakespeare’s day, when women weren’t even allowed on stage.“It’s the hardest of all parts to get right – she must be feminine, yet forceful – for the supreme incarnation think Les Dawson and Roy Barraclough’s Cissy and Ada.“Here for this year’s lavish season of misrule amongst a brilliantly vibrant cast Sam Rabone’s Widow Twankey triumphs hilariously with all the freshness of a damaged daisy proving he is a solid star. “This classic panto with the most traditional yet most modern of twists never puts a foot wrong. Don’t miss it.”Jay-Jay says, “Now you see why they got me to review it officially.”
Aladdin runs at the Lichfield Garrick until January 6. For tickets visit the box office, phone 01543 412121 or visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com.
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