Aladdin, Kings Theatre, Glasgow,
***** 5 Stars
“Old School Panto reigns supreme at the King’s!”
Qdos are now into there second year of producing panto at the legendary King’s theatre in Glasgow and with Stars Elaine C Smith, Johnny Mac and Paul-James Corrigan reuniting from last years “Sleeping Beauty” it’s a winning formula especially as the King’s has turned the old school panto charm on and delivers in spades.
Aladdin is the age-old tale of finding love, flying carpets and good triumphing over evil. Mix that with a plethora of local references and a mix of pop tunes and film standards and the twist of removing the dame and having window Twankey being played by Smith it’s a mix of pure pantomime perfection.
Elaine C Smith is truly at home on the King’s stage with special costumes designed for her by Ron Briggs her charm and ease with the audience on her home turf is a joy to behold. Johnny Mac as Wishee Washee continues to make the King’s his home and is truly the greatest comic to take to the stage since the late great Gerard Kelly and he joins the Pantheon of legends like, Fulton, Baxter and Logan. His comedy timing is fantastic especially when working in tandem with Paul-James Corrigan’s The Imperial Palace Guard, the sketch involving Beyoncé and her dancing girls is panto firing on all Cylinders. Speaking of Paul- James Corrigan his character acting is faultless and if anything, he deserves more stage time it’s all Glasgow banter at its best from a true comic actor giving panto his all. Every panto needs a good baddy and Abanazar is played to villainous perfection by George Drennan who earns the Boo’s with a great deal of ease.
Production wise it’s a stoater with Glasgow finally getting a Hugh Durrant set on the stage of King’s as opposed to a former FFE sets from years past and it glitters and sparkles especially under David Howe’s lighting design. Learning the lesson from last year a crisp and full sound design from Tom Marshall really brings old peeking to life. Director Nigel West and Choreographer Karen Martin really know their panto stuff and it shines across the footlights with rapid fire comedy routines mixing with west end standard dance and music numbers with ease. The finishing touch must be The Twins FX delivering an unforgettable flying carpet the likes of which the King’s have never seen before.
The over riding feeling from this years King’s panto is one of old school charm, even more so with the announcement that 2019/20 will see Elaine C Smith and Johnny Mac returning to the Kings with Jack and the Beanstalk which was last seen over 25 years ago with the late great Jimmy Logan as Dame Trot its clear that the Kings has set out to keep old school Family Pantomime at the heart of Glasgow during the holiday season. So, grab those tickets now before it’s all too late.
Qdos Presents “Aladdin”, Kings Theatre, Glasgow, Runs until Sunday 6th January 2019 Tickets from £17 go to https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/aladdin/kings-theatre/