We love a good pantomime and we are happy to drive to one that we think will be good. In fact, last year we drove all the way from Manchester to Newcastle. This year we wanted to stay closer to home so we headed across to the St Helens Theatre Royal to watch Aladdin.
The St Helens Theatre Royal is a fairly small theatre with just 700 seats but this gives it a great atmosphere and you feel part of the performance. I do wish the floor was sloped a bit more to prevent views being blocked but the girls managed by swapping seats with us so we had the adults in front of us instead.
The Aladdin production had a great cast of actors including Amy Childs and Harry Derbidge from The Only Way Is Essex as the slave of the ring and PC Noodle. Both parts were played really well but I did find myself cringing at times over the use of the word babes. PC Noodle was one of our favourite characters and Harry’s over the top acting on this role just made it even better.
The cast was filled with other recognisable faces including Warren Donnelly (the copper in Shameless) and David Heath (from X factor boy band Eton Road). David Heath’s Aladdin was a spectacular performance and his musical numbers were pulled off really well. Along with his co-star Olivia Sloyan, as Princess Jasmine, the story unfolded with duet after duet and not once did my kids cover their ears so its got to be good.
The comedy elements brought by Wishy Washy and Widow Twanky were absolutely fantastic and in true Panto style they had the audience participating in all of the right places although hearing a huge crowd of kids shout out “Are So Washy” doesn’t go quite as well as you might think and there were a lot of sniggers and coughing from the adults around me. I can only assume that “Are So” is some form of local Lancashire greeting.
Wishy Washy and Widow Twanky were not the only ones making us laugh out loud. PC Noodles and Abanazar performed the girls favourite scene of the whole pantomime when they used a variety of popular songs and their lyrics to speak their lines with lots of emphasis on the actions and added sass.
If you are based in the North West and are looking for a great Christmas Pantomime then we can definitely recommend Aladdin at the St Helens Theatre Royal for a great family production that is suitable for all ages.