Date 13th December 2013
Society Riverside Musical Theatre Company
Venue Park View Theatre, Chester-le-street
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Sheila Rouse
Musical Director Sheila Rouse
Choreographer Sheila Rouse & Jennifer Rouse


Author: Michelle Coulson

This was a traditional style pantomime with lots of musical numbers which kept the entire company busy from start to finish. The costumes were very good and appropriate for the piece, and the set was colourful and gave a good representation of the many locations within the story, although the cave scene would have benefited from having some more treasure. The cast were well accompanied by a small band, but unfortunately there were a couple of issues with the sound at the performance I attended.

A cast of 14 principals led us through Aladdin’s tale of rags to riches, and Catherine Hillam in the title role gave a confident performance and was ably supported by Amy Manning, as Princess Lotus Blossom, who looked every bit the Eastern Princess. The pair sang well together. Stephen Shield, as Wishee Washee, and Kevin Thornhill, as Widow Twankey, gained the audience support throughout the performance and worked hard to keep the comedy going along with by Minnie Wong (Mavis Thornhill) and Winnie Wong (Susan Thomas) and these characters were audience favourites. Peter Johnson, as Abanazar, relished in being the baddy of the piece.  He commanded the stage and engaged with the audience at every opportunity, giving a first rate performance. All other minor principals gave good support to the production, and the chorus numbers were performed with conviction and were well sung. There were also good dance performances. 

I was delighted to be invited to present Long Service Awards totalling 85 years to Maurice Edmonson, Angela Hardy, Peter Johnson, and Roy Rouse, and a junior award to Jessica Edmonson.  Congratulations to all of you.