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Croydon pantomime ticks all the right buttons
Beg, borrow or steal a child – find any excuse to get down to Fairfield Halls for this year’s brilliant pantomime Aladdin.
Evolution Pantomimes has pulled together the perfect mix of bawdy innuendo, cracker-joke style one liners and traditional slapstick to have audience members of every age breathless with laughter.
The challenge of any production aimed at children is keeping the adults amused and Evolution have decided to turn this on its head and pitch the majority of the script to an older audience – with Quinn Patrick’s Widow Twanky cracking a string of innuendo laden lines.
Headliner former EastEnders baddie Larry Lamb handles persistent mockery perfectly, bestriding the stage delivering woeful Shakespearean puns and hamming up his villainy, but it is the talented support cast who take the credits.
Kelly Chinery as the Estuary English speaking Genie of the Ring threatens to steal the show, both with her bimbo banter and superb voice, but she has close competition as Nathaniel Morrison, the Jamaican Genie of the Lamp, and Oliver Broad as the bumbling PC Pongo both deliver top performances.
The true test of a successful panto though comes from its comedy characters and Widow Twanky (you can’t miss her she’s the man in a dress) and Wishee Washee, Joe Tracini, deliver in style.
A smattering of musical numbers allow the cast, particularly the two genies, Anthony Hansen as Aladdin and Rosa O’Reilly as Jasmine to show off their impressive vocals, and of course there is the Pantomime staples of “he’s behind yous” and custard pie gags to keep the traditionalist happy.
The village people and Kung Fu Panda also make an appearance while an alternative version of the 12 Days of Christmas, including a bra that was designed for three, is comedy gold.
If there is any criticism it is that at two and a half hours it’s a long slog for the younger members of the audience but if anything when the curtain falls, you’ll be wishing there was more.
Aladdin is playing at The Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon until January 2.
Tickets range from £15 to £26 depending on date and time of performance, visit www.fairfield.co.uk or call 0208 722 6351 for full details and to order.