Date 20th February 2013
Society Urmston Musical Theatre
Venue Urmston Leisure Centre
Type of Production Panto
Director Sally Wild
Musical Director Debbie Holmes
Choreographer Sally Wild


Author: Kevin Proctor

Urmston Musical Theatre staged the ever traditional panto fairy tale of Aladdin. The Director / Choreographer (Sally Wild) had certainly kept herself busy with musical numbers and dance routines thrown in at every available opportunity which undoubtedly worked in the shows favour. All of the costumes looked superb and were equally complimented by proficient scenery.

A fair amount of crucial and traditional panto traits were missing; jokes, giggles and gags were few and poking at politics with references to the local news and area were in small doses which are all, ultimately, key elements in panto tradition.

Princess Lotus Blossom (Emily Knutton) wasn’t the usual sweet as sugar fairy tale princess, she had a feisty spirit and unquestionably the strongest singing voice on display. Wishy Washy (Richard Gaffney) delivered the dim and idle character well and built up a good and trusty bond with the audience. Widow Twankey (John Walker) came alive in parts and demonstrated glimpses of a very capable Dame, he seemed as though he didn’t have a clue what was supposed to be happening which was amusing to a degree but eventually led me to question whether he actually did, or was he just play-acting!? Abanazer (Gary Hocking) wasn’t as exaggerated as many panto fans would be used to but Gary was still menacing and delivered the part with consistency.

The highlight of the show was ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ sketch which energised the cast, engaged the audience and was delivered with true panto spirit as the audience was involved, it was rowdy and good fun – perfect! We could have afforded more of this, even if it did almost bring on a Wishy Washy asthma attack!

The song choices were well selected, we were offered plenty of upbeat numbers, many familiar tunes and some musical theatre which all suited the relevant characters while still in keeping with that particular part in the story.

The delivery of the script dipped in places as some scenes dragged causing energy levels to drop, the joy of panto (in most cases) is you can play around with the script and chop and change bits around as you please to make it your own, parts of this particular script were perhaps a little dated and could’ve done with being refreshed or tweaked to enhance the production.