Andrew Pollard’s ‘Aladdin!’ at The Mercury Theatre

Hello everyone and welcome! 

I know this post has been a little time coming as I’ve not been to as many shows this year (as you can imagine with the world the way it is).  But hopefully I will be able to attend and review more shows in the coming year.
Watching a pantomime at Christmas as a theatre-goer is my favourite thing to do and this year was no exception.

Widow Twankey, Humphrey the Camel & The Emperor of Colchestaria are all sicking on a bench looking all worried and scared.
Antony Staurt-Hicks – Dale Superville – Minal Patel
Photo By: Marc Brenner

A brief overview of the show:
A young Aladdin desperately wants to become a famous rock star. 
He meets Jasmine the Emperor’s daughter, falls in love with her and resolves to find a way to become so rich that he can marry her.  Meanwhile, our antagonist the evil ‘Fabra Cadabra’ believes that she deserves all the power in the world.  Jasmine is then kidnapped.  Hoping that the ‘power of rock’ will protect him, Aladdin goes on a quest with Genie and his friends to save Jasmine from Fabra Cadabra in the “Land of the Mummies”.

Now the review!

I have been in the audience of every Mercury Theatre pantomime since 2016 but for me, this has to be the best pantomime I have seen.  So much fun, frolics and fantastic acting! This is not one to miss!
It has everything a great panto needs: sing along songs, dancing, comedy and so much laughter from start to finish.
James Hameed who plays Aladdin is a super star with a truly amazing singing voice. 
There is great chemistry between Aladdin and Jasmine (Danielle Kassaraté), as with all the cast as a whole.
I am certain that the players had a blast performing the show and this really translated well to the audience.
It was so easy to be swept up in the performance. 

Aladdin, wearing a golden and white hasten clothing, smiling holding Jasmine, who is wearing a green hasten costume.
Danielle Kassarate & James Hameed
Photo By: Marc Brenner

Once again the comedy duo that is Antony Stuart-Hicks and Dale Supervillie were on fire. 
Not being on stage for two years has not stopped them at all!  They had the whole audience in stitches.
I am so happy to see them both together again. They are an absolute joy to watch, making the night even more special!  I personally can’t wait to see the duo again, maybe in next year’s panto? (Hint hint!)

There was a great use of light and colour throughout the whole show.  Each character had their own unique colour and style, so even if with limited vision I was still able to make each character out. 

Despite my limited vision, I could not miss Widow Twankey with her over the top yet fun costumes and hairstyles.
I also found each song in the show recognisable and very easy to sing along with. 

Fabra Cadabra wearing a red glittering costume, is holding a glass ring looking all amazed.
Leonie Spilsbury
Photo By: Marc Brenner

Accessibility

Even if, (like myself) you are someone with very limited vision, I think you will have a wonderful time! 
There are some parts of the panto which rely upon visual gags but I think the show tries to make sure that you hardly miss anything, including jokes and the storyline. 

I am not sure about a touch tour this year due to health and safety regulations but I did not contact the theatre to ask.
I would like to see more audio described performances. The show is running for a few months and I feel that one is just not enough.

As I said at the beginning of the review, I have seen so many pantomimes performed at The Mercury and this is the best I have ever seen!
Tickets are selling fast, so get yours soon from The Mercury Theatre’s website: here


Aladdin is running from 27th November until 16th January 2022

Trust me when I say, go get your tickets now!

Until Next Time

The VI Critic

Sinbad – The Rock & Roll Panto

Well, Christmas is officially on the way which can only mean one thing…it’s Panto Season!! If you are a regular to this blog, you will know how much I love theatre! Therefore, this is my favourite time of the year!

Photo: Donna Souvlakia Sidbad (Graham Hent) and cast looking somewhat seasick!

Tonight I went to go and see Sinbad – The Rock and Roll Panto at The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. The story is of a sailor called Sinbad who has travelled the seven seas and is said to have a wife in every port! When he returns to his home land, he happens to bump into the Caliph’s daughter Princess Pearl and she instantly falls in love with him. However her father forbids this and she stowaways on Sinbad’s ship The Saucy Sausage as he attempts to find the lost treasure of Nirvana.

Photo: Sinbad (Steve Rushton) with Jade and Princess Pearl in pirate disguises!

The starred Steve Rushton as Sidbad, Graham Hent as Dame Donna Souvlakia Sidbad and Dan De Cruz as Sinistro a magician. The musical numbers throughout the show were performed brilliantly, and had all the member of the audience (and yes, including me) clapping, laughing, cheering, booing and dancing at any chance they could. For an opening night, I don’t think the cast could have done it any better. As this was an Audio Described performance, there theatre offered me a audio headset, and that said that I would be the first member of the public to use their system, so I therefore have decided that I will be this private and tell them of my thoughts directly. However, please don’t take this as a negative, I am doing this for the benefit of the theatre.

Photo: The evil magician Sinistro in a very purple robe and hat looking very evilly happy with himself with green lightly and smoke in the background! 

I think this is a show which is a Must-See this Christmas, and is a real fun and enjoyable night for all the family! The comedy is both hilarious for adults and children. There is not a dull moment, as all member of your family will thoroughly entertained. The show is running at The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich and is running from 24th November until Saturday 28th January! So hey, why not go see it more than once! Link to the theatre website and information will be below.

Until Next Time,

The VI Critic

Theatre Website & Information: https://www.wolseytheatre.co.uk/shows/sinbad/