Aladdin by Lighthouse Poole
Reviewed 10 December 2023
This Aladdin is full of magic!
It is great to see Aladdin still firmly on the map this year, and The Lighthouse Poole have pulled together a production that is full of magic!
Written and directed by Chris Jarvis, who also plays Widow Twankey, this production of Aladdin has an Arabian feel, but is firmly rooted in the local community which is nicely highlighted in the magical opening sequence. There is the customary line of dodgy panto jokes, but Widow Twankey’s cleaning song is very clever, as is the sketch with the cleaning products in the laundry. It would have been nice to see more ‘slosh’ in the slosh scene, although Josh Haberfield as Wishee Washee does end up suitably soaked.
Andrew Pollard and Alim Jadavji return as Professor Pocus and The Genie of the Lamp respectively, following their award-winning performances in Cinderella last year. Alim’s Genie is full of mischief and simply hilarious. His surprise entrance at the end of Act one drew gasps (and some laughs) from the packed audience who were having a great time.
Andrew was suitably evil as Professor Pocus, despite his glam-rock outfits, and had the kids and adults alike booing him from the off. The number between the Genie and the Professor in Act two was hilarious, with Andrew and Alim playing off each other brilliantly. A great pairing that I hope we see a lot more of.
Ionica Adriana is a suitably sweet Princess Jasmine, although she does have a fiery side, and Benjamin Armstrong does a great job as Aladdin in his panto debut.
With some great effects, including the traditional magic carpet ride and a few surprises, real magic, and great music provided by a live band, this production really hits the mark and shows why Aladdin is here to stay!
Definitely a show you don’t want to miss, although you will have to be quick, as it is only on until 31 December and tickets are selling fast.