Aladdin and the Pirates

Date 11th January 2016
Society North Ormesby Minstrels
Venue Trinity Centre, North Ormesby
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Marie Turnbull
Musical Director Matthew Allan
Choreographer Alice Maenami & Marie Turnbull


Author: Gordon Richardson

This seasonal offering was superb from start to finish with good acting and singing, colourful costumes, wonderful choreography, great special effects, pyrotechnics, lighting and sound. ‘Traditional’ it was not, as the very clever script saw many modern twists as the evil Captain of the pirates ‘Abanazer’ (Ged Kirkbright) and trusty sidekick ‘Boney Malone’ (Tom Milton) used social media and Google to research his latest ‘plot’, utilising a very authentic computerised ‘Siri’ like voice. Alliteration played heavily on the introduction of the two ‘stooges’ PC Plunk and Plonk of the Palace Patrol of the Peking Police and what a pair they were as they blundered their way through much slapstick to the delight of the audience Jeff Sturdy and Marie Turnbull excelled in the roles.

The ‘Emperor of Peking’ (Keith Lewis – with wonderful accent) was a perfect foil for ‘Widow Twankey’ – a role normally played by a male but in this case played with great style and charisma by Jill Stephenson. It was obvious the cast were really enjoying themselves and several cases of ‘corpsing’ were evident but Jill simply kept going engaging the audience, ad-libbing at times, and mercilessly picking on yours truly! The audience lapped it up and were craving more. Meanwhile Twankey’s lazy assistant ‘Wishee Washee’ (Marty Maenami) had the audience eating out of his hand as he dealt with his pet penguin ‘Monty’ played, with great nonverbal communication by Jan Lewis. The role of Wishee’s love interest was occupied by ‘Beth’, sweetly played by Laura Weir. The panto contained two genies – the Genie of the Lamp and the Genie of the ring (Thomas Allen and Laura Allen respectively) – both had ‘attitude’, modern twists  and both excelled in their roles.
Title character ‘Aladdin’ and his love interest ‘Princess Eugenie’ (Alice Maenami and Emily Murray respectively) both sang and acted really well and both featured in my two favourite numbers which included the well-used and energetic chorus; Alice’s “Jailhouse Rock/Thriller” mash up and Emily’s “I Can hear the Bells”.

Great use was made of the limited ‘working area’ by cast and choreography was energetic and well-crafted in choral numbers and used contemporary music throughout.

This panto really had a family feel to it and the audience were made to feel part of the spectacle. A superb example of the panto art with many clever plot twists using video projection – Well done again…