Date 28th January 2014
Society Bolsover Drama Group
Venue The Bolsover School, Bolsover
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Leanne Collins, Mick Whitehouse
Musical Director Nigel Turner
Choreographer Leanne Collins


Author: Joyce Handbury

Aladdin is one of my favourite pantomimes mainly because it has such a good, strong story line. This is really developed in the very funny and modern script by Alan P. Frayn with the group adding their own topical and local gags into the mix. Apart from the main characters there was a cast of nearly fifty playing the villagers, courtiers and spirits and didn’t they do well - oh yes they did!! Keeping with tradition, the lead role of Aladdin was splendidly played by Wendy Blunt and Kayleigh Constable was delightful as Princess Mandarin as was Sue Hilton as So-Shy. Paul Holland was excellent as Widow Twankey his make-up and many gaudy and outlandish costumes adding to the hilarity of his first-class performance. Chris Peck as Wishee Washee brought out all of the humour in the script with ease and both he and ‘his mother’ had a good rapport with the audience. Ian Simpson was suitably evil as Abanazar, well deserving of his ‘boos and hisses’ and Gary Jarvis played The Emperor with majestic authority (however he did let his hair down in the final musical number). Two good characterisations came from Donna Knowles as the Spirit of the Ring and Istvan Koszegi as the Genie of the Lamp. The stars of the show were undoubtedly the excellent pairing of Tara Madeley as You Dun Wong and Nicky Constable as Hu Don Pong, the chinese policemen. They were a brilliantly funny double act, wringing every ounce of humour out of the script, whizzing round the stage on scooters and hitting everyone in sight with their truncheons - I’m sure by the end of the run many of the cast will have sore heads! The stage settings were simple but very effective the ‘Magic Flight to Egypt’ scene was extremely innovative being achieved with black out, fluorescent paint and UV lighting enabling a carpet with Abanazar and the Princess to ‘fly off’ to Egypt. Excellent principals, good chorus work, superb costumes, together with splendid props, sound effects, lighting and stage management added to the overall production which was colourful, lively and above all thoroughly entertaining. Everyone on stage enjoyed themselves as did we, the audience. Congratulations to all involved.