Aladdin, FTH Theatre,
**** 4 Stars
“a thrilling carpet ride of classic pantomime fun”
Imagine Productions return to the FTH Theatre in Falkirk with the most popular of panto titles and delivers a thrilling carpet ride of classic pantomime fun. Aladdin the story of the boy who falls for the princess, despite being poor and working in his mothers laundry he sets off on a big adventure as he battles the evil Abanazar and finds jewels, riches and fame but ultimately the power of love and being who you are!
Eric Potts pithy script works wonders as does Stuart Baird strong direction. It’s the casting choices that give the show its heart, Barbara Bryceland is back as “Spirit of the ring” and this year they have worked to her strengths, she delivers her excellent big voiced vocals with a dash of comedy asides and it works wonderfully well. Libby McArthur as the Empress is slightly underused and there are moments when the performance is feeling forced, but she is a joy in the “If I were not upon the stage” routine. Comedy is handled well by Scott Watson as “ Wishee Washee”. Emily Cochrane as “Princess Jasmine” also has rich voice and brings out the best in the role. Ross Jamieson’s “Aladdin” has couthy charm in spades and delivers well enough vocally. Henry Sanders gives a lot of charm as “Genie of the Lamp” and is striking take on the character.
The True star of the show is Craig Glover who literally turns in a tour de force performance as Dame Window Twankey! With a succession of stunning costumes and his on the button comedy is simply a joy to watch. His ability to adlib and deliver asides is the glue of this panto.
Production wise all the essential ingredients of pantomime are here, a colourful and well lit set, oriental inspired costumes in abundance. Music covers all the bases from rock and roll to pop with a dash of musical theatre thrown in. Although with just a keyboard and drum kit in the pit its heavily click tracked. This is made up for though by a stunning special effect the likes of which FTH will have never seen.
There were some issues with the sound, but these are minor quibbles and will soon sort themselves as the show beds in. This Aladdin delivers everything it should and thanks to Clover, has that extra special wow factor. So why not grab your magic carpet and head along to the FTH for the journey of a lifetime.
The Falkirk Community Trust and Imagine Theatre Presents, Aladdin, FTH Theatre, Falkirk, Runs until Tuesday 24th December. For tickets go to: https://www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/whats-on/aladdin