Date 15th January 2016
Society Rainham Theatrical Society (RTS Ltd)
Venue Oast Theatre
Type of Production PANTO
Director Phil Willing


Author: Gordon Harris

Another year, another great Panto at the Oast Theatre.

And this year’s production is Aladdin.

Grant Flanagan as the flamboyant Widow Twankey. His character is funny and lovable and he is brilliant and larger than life, mainly due to his heels (I must say I prefer the more traditional dame boot myself) and, when paired with Wishee Washee (was it Curtis or Flynn), there’s plenty of fun whenever the pair are on stage together.

Jan Wyatt, who plays Spirit of the Ring, shines in the role and not just because of her sparkly outfit.

The show has everything you would expect and love in a panto. There’s slapstick humour, lots of boos at the baddy Abanazar, who is brilliantly played by Rob O’Hanlon, as was the girl dressed as a boy scenario Aladdin, played superbly by Carly Caller: great voice and delivery of lines.

We all know the story of Aladdin: he falls in love with the Princess Mandarin, in the capable hands of Faye Wyatt, but can only marry her if he is a Prince. Enter the Genie of the Lamp to grant his three wishes, Ryan Caston. In previous Aladdin’s, I’ve seen a sinister side to the genie, but in this one Ryan has got it perfectly characterized. Brian Skinner gave a splendid old, doddery, bobbing, Emperor and certainly got some titters. Comedy pair Pong and Wong, Steve Berry and Darren Hammock, and Lauren Feekings as So Shy were an essential part of this great cast that Phill Willing has crafted and directed well for the small stage.   

There’s lots of singing, audience participation, a fluorescent cave scene, and the usual "oh no it isn’t", "oh yes it is" - even I joined in.

All these things are firm family favourites, which is why Director Phill Willing has kept them all in. And why everyone who goes will have a great panto and lots of family fun.