Glos.info on Aladdin

People are coming from all over the world to see Aladdin at Cheltenham Playhouse! Well… Cleethorpes, Lincoln and Spain at least! Read on to find out why…

Aladdin is the first-ever full-scale pantomime at Cheltenham Playhouse and it is brought to you by a fabulous collaboration at the heart of the theatre team. The panto is produced by Matt Nolan (ex-trustee) and Kieron Milsom (chief executive) with creative direction from Kieran Mortell (trustee).

The panto was written by Alex Jackson, who says “When Matt and Kieronasked me to write their brand new annual panto, I was really excited. The team involved this year have a fantastic commitment to their audience and were enthusiastic to create something unique for Cheltenham”.

So you can expect a modern retelling of the Aladdin tale with West End actors, local references and laughs, lots of slapstick, plenty of wordplay, a singing policeman (more of that later) and even a magic carpet.

The core themes are: rags to riches, coming of age and magic, all told in a family-friendly, witty and heart-warming way.

The actors had three weeks of rehearsal time to pull it all together and did a really fabulous job.

Widow Twankey, played by John Martin-Stevens, runs “Twanky’s Knick Knackery” where some of the key bits of action take place including some of the shenanigans between Aladdin, played by Hannah Victoria, and his sister Wishee, Lucy Farrett. Twankey has several comedic scenes fit for the perfect pantomime dame that she is. Look out for the tale of her husband set to music, which is cleverly done!

There are ongoing wine puns and booze (sorry… boos!) when the baddy Merlot, expertly played by Hayden Wood, comes on stage. There might even have been a few “behind you” calls.

Then fabulous Princess Jasmine, played by Anna Barnes, appears and takes everyone’s heart.

But for the people who have come from Cleethorpes, Lincoln and Spain, the star of the show is Playhouse regular Tim Jones, who plays the genie and, in a strange turn of fate, a singing policeman. For Tim Jones really is a singing policeman! During lockdown, Tim was often to be found singing on a Facebook Live to hundreds or thousands of watchers. He connected to a variety of people down the ether at a difficult time for many people and they have then connected with each other. Hence, he has a bit of a fan club around the world and some of them are travelling to see the show as he is in it!

So, when Tim, comes on stage as the genie there are cheers and applause, but when he sings “It’s a Kind Of Magic” with Aladdin, there are goosebumps!

The songs are fabulous, the jokes are funny, the special effects are good and the Theatre Studio group of young people have learnt their dance steps well and really add to the production.

Go along to see the brand new Aladdin pantomine at Cheltenham Playhouse for some real family fun, laughs, songs, jokes and even some goosebumps!

Aladdin is running at Cheltenham Playhouse 15th to 31st December 2023 (Excluding 18th, 25th & 26th December) and where else can you take a family of 4 to see a quality panto with real heart and sense of community for just £70?

Read the full review here.

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