THEATRE REVIEW: Must-see Aladdin is a Christmas treat for Mansfield panto fans

The cast of this year's Mansfield Palace Theatre panto, Aladdin,

The cast of this year's Mansfield Palace Theatre panto, Aladdin,

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Panto season is back . . . and in some style!

And this year’s Palace Theatre offering of Aladdin is a must-see for everyone.

Full of slapstick humour, song, stunning sets and dazzling costumes, the Palace has once again served up a Christmas treat for everyone.

And what a treat it is, especially for the little ones who were shrieking at every appearance by the hilarious Wishee Washee, immaculately played by Mark James.

Star billing, of course, is given to Philip Martin Brown, of Waterloo Road fame, who is superb as the archetypal panto baddie, Abanazar.

But there’s quality throughout the production.

Chris Edgerley as Aladdin with Mark James as Wishee Washee and David Rumelle as the Widow Twankey.

Chris Edgerley as Aladdin with Mark James as Wishee Washee and David Rumelle as the Widow Twankey.

In between all the usual chaos and mischief - usually initiated by Wishee Washee and the hapless Pc Pong and Pc Ping - there is a plethora of quality of song and dance.

The vocals of Helen Petrovna, who plays Slave of the Ring, are simply superb.

Of course, a panto isn’t a panto without the usual audience participation. And there’s plenty of that in this adaptation - with the cast making several appearances in the aisles of the packed theatre.

There’s the usual cries of ‘he’s behind you’ and ‘oh yes he is’, and of course the usual little digs at Chesterfield and Shirebrook - which is now a tradition of any Palace panto.

So, in a world which seems to be forever full of doom and gloom, two hours or so in the fantasy world of Aladdin is just the escape you need.

Gemma Naylor brings a touch of glamour as Princess Jasmine. Gracing the stage in a series of eye-catching outfits, while her groom-to-be Chris Edgerley proves a hit as the squeaky clean hero Aladdin.

The costumes are bright and in your face, especially for Widow Twankey played by the excellent David Rumelle.

Special mention should also go to the dancers from Mansfield’s very own Stage Door Academy of Dance and Theatre, as well as youngsters from the Academy of Dance from (whisper it quietly) Chesterfield.

So, in a world which seems to be forever full of doom and gloom, two hours or so in the fantasy world of Aladdin is just the escape you need.

The cast of Aladdin, Mansfield Palace Theatre's pantomime.

The cast of Aladdin, Mansfield Palace Theatre's pantomime.

Aladdin runs at the Palace Theatre until January 3. For ticket details visit www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre or contact the box office on 01623 633133.

Chris Edgerley as Aladdin and Philip Martin Brown, Abanazar.

Chris Edgerley as Aladdin and Philip Martin Brown, Abanazar.