Date 23rd February 2018
Society Shavington Village Festival Committee
Venue Shavington Academy
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Rachel Hadzik- Chesters
Musical Director Jenny Collis- Smith
Choreographer Angela Snell


Author: Louise Colohan

Shavington Village Festival Committee have once again surpassed themselves in their production of Aladdin. A very funny, heart -warming family pantomime. Packed with great one liners and a colourful array of characters, this was a hit with the audience from the start. The script by Bradford and Webster provided many opportunities for the supporting ensemble as well as giving a very robust plot.

Director, Rachel Hadzik- Chesters had a clear vision for the production and she achieved excellent pace throughout. Her character work with each player was evident, this really embellished the show. Some clever touches included by this lady proves that she has a good deal of creativity and originality. I especially loved the “projection of Bohemian Rhapsody”, and I must mention the flying carpet scene, this was executed so well with the use of UV lighting. The Prince Ali number was fabulous using a full-size Elephant up the middle of the auditorium and a rather comical Giraffe on-stage.

Choreographer, Angela Snell, catered for her cast and used each ability in a creative manner, working with so many young children can be somewhat overwhelming, but they performed very well. It was very nice to see the mixture of age ranges from the very young to the not so young. A job very well-done Angela as you included everyone in each number.

Musical Director, Jenny Collis-Smith gave us a lovely start the performance with a mini overture, it set the tone nicely. I must commend Jenny for her use of modern music, your cast performed excellent and your band were certainly on the ball. The decision to use electric drum pads in the pit is always welcomed by myself as the stage is never competing to be heard.

Megan Sheer shone playing the title role of Aladdin, excellent delivery with some lovely acting throughout, she also had a very nice vocal which I feel can be pushed a great deal more. A pleasure to watch her perform.

Hannah Brett playing the side-kick, Wishee Washee, a nice character actress with bags of potential. She allowed herself to be taken over by the role, which is a basic requirement when playing this type of character. Great job Hannah.

Jonathan Brett as the Widow Twanky was everything you would expect from the panto dame, loud, brass, cheeky and ever so funny. Hosting a splendid Irish accent, he gave us a powerhouse performance of the role. Great casting here.

Princess Jasmine played by Molly Marr is a very nice actress, a girl who has some wonderful potential. She gave a good performance of the role and worked effortlessly along side Aladdin. I would like to see Molly take some vocals lessons/guidance to help with her confidence when singing, she has good strength in her lower register but struggled on her bridge into head voice. With some help this will even out, and she will no doubt become more confident in this discipline.

Abanazar played by Adam Goode, was a personal favourite on the night, he gave an excellent performance never dropping out of character. I loved “Bad Romance”, this scene was a highlight. Wonderful performance Adam, I thoroughly enjoyed watching you perform.

Tingaling played by Emily Hurry, a nice supporting role, she gave it all that was required. Another nice vocal, which I think would benefit from some guidance. I enjoyed the performance of “I know him so well”, Emily and Molly together were a nice blend of voices.

PC 27 & PC 39, Shannon Vernon & Molly Lloyd, must be spoken about as a duo. Two lovely young performers gave a good performance. They worked very well together. I can see good potential in this pair.

Rachel Everall as the Slave of the ring, a small role, but we got a glimpse of this lady’s ability for comedy.

Julie Mann as the Genie of the Lamp, lovely performance of this role. Good comedic timing, she interacted very well with her fellow-cast, great stage presence within scenes.

Hi & Lo, James Wright & Nathanael Brett, was a fabulous coupling, this pair provided a good number of the evening’s laughs. Again, there is so much potential for these players, they had a great grasp on the timing of the comedy and this will only develop in future productions.

Empress of Peking, Lesley Smith, a strong performer, she brought this role to life, there was very little in the way of script for her, but she made the most of her role nevertheless.

Gary Blackman as The Herald performed his role well. He reacted well within his scenes.

All other supporting roles and ensemble were excellent and gave a hundred percent in each scene. The build up of scenes allowed them to have some nice individuality and not remain uniform, this makes for interesting viewing and it creates fuller scenes.

I must speak about the set and the team behind it, the transitions from scene to scene was flawless, the slickness of this team must have commended. I never caught a glimpse of any crew but as if by magic another scene was set-up within seconds, I couldn’t believe the speed. The back drops were set of nicely by the amazing props on display, the washer & dryer both excellent but mention must go to the washing cart at the start of the show, so clever.

Costumes, were simply stunning. The quality was evident under the lights, each costume complimented the characters. Window Twanky’s costumes and head pieces were a hoot, giving us a laugh on each entry, the fairy washing-up liquid dress was extraordinary. A massive round of applause to the team who make everything in-house

Lights and sound were good, Sound balance was good with no issues arising on my visit. Lighting was creative giving us a good idea about the mood/tone of each scene.

Overall this was a great production, fast paced with great energy. I left feeling very uplifted by this group. I must mention once again that it was so nice to see how inclusive this group is. I can’t help but feel if you are part of this group you are indeed part of a very large family. Wonderful evening. Thank you for your warm hospitality and a lovely night at the theatre.