Pantomime Review: Aladdin - New Wimbledon Theatre ✭✭✭✭

New Wimbledon Theatre

Monday 9th December 2013: Well it's that time of year again, when the stars of stage, screen and drama schools all dress up in glitzy costumes, funny make-up and tell us the tale of traditional pantomime shows. New Wimbledon Theatre without a doubt always pulls the panto punches in it's big name casts every year, and this year is rather good indeed.

Making her pantomime debut, comedy hit Jo Brand is very much at home on stage here as Genie of the Ring. It takes a while for her to get warmed up, but when she does, Jo is reeling off the double entendres and more adult humour with ease. With lots of references to her size and weight, Jo takes it all on her chins, and even has a go at singing and dancing. Matthew Kelly as always plays a wonderful Dame... Widow Twankey on this occasion, with hilarious costumes throughout and great stage presence. West End stalwart Oliver Thornton is in fine voice as Aladdin, blasting out the opening number with musical charm.

David Bedella takes the bad guy role of Abanazar and he is enjoying the part very much... Villainous laughs, getting all the boos from the audience and singing the odd song here and there. Another fine voice on show this evening is Shaheen Jafargholi as Genie of the Lamp, who sings every line he has in the show, he has come a long way since his Britain's Got Talent days. Comedian Alan Committie is a great choice as Wishee Washee, comic timing is spot on, and his interaction with the children from the audience towards the end of the show is simply charming.

Oliver Thornton as Aladdin
Matthew Rixon plays Major Pong, the head of the Peking Police Force, who again is also in fine form with his slapstick scenes, and who better to have as the police force - the global award-winning dance act Flawless, who were pretty much flawless in their slick choreography throughout, and a very welcome addition to the panto proceedings, with one highlight being a routine with light-up suits!

This show has it all really, some traditional scenes like the Who, What, I Don't Know sketch, which is not just olden... it is Golden! Add to this a great sounding band, some good musical numbers, and some fabulous singing and dancing and the audiences are in for a pantomime treat this year.

Four stars ✭✭✭✭

Aladdin runs at New Wimbledon Theatre until Sunday 12th January 2014