Milton Keynes Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 10th December 2015★★★
Nothing quite says Christmas like a good panto, and this year the Milton Keynes Theatre provides laughs for all the family with their production of Aladdin.
Before the show begins a screen is lowered and, cleverly, a live camera zooms in on different audience members - from before the word go the atmosphere was alive and buzzing and the audience were clearly ready for lots of participation.
The show features some lively pop songs, dazzling costumes and hilarious local-themed jokes (the number of roundabouts in Milton Keynes get a good mention). Some of the humour is close to the line, but I think they get away with it – isn’t that what panto is all about?!
The glittery set does its job and looks particularly impressive when Aladdin discovers his lamp in the cave. The magic carpet works well; when Aladdin takes a ride he sings whilst clinging on for dear life.
Gary Wilmot is the star of the show. Wilmot is a man in demand; this year he went straight from the UK tour of Oklahoma! into Dirty Rotten Scoundrels before returning to the land of panto where he is unrecognisable as Widow Twankey. Pulling off some outrageous costumes, each time Wilmot steps foot on stage he has the audience in hysterics. His performance feels fresh and spontaneous - the moment his wig fell off was pure brilliance.
Kev Orkian plays Wishee Washee fantastically and strikes up a strong relationship with the audience. Ben Adams and Aimie Atkinson showcase some nice vocals as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine whilst Priscilla Presley provides some 'interesting' moments as Genie of the Lamp. Wayne Sleep comes into his own as Genie of the Ring when it's time for his big dance number towards the end of the show.
With plenty of boos, bad jokes and energetic dance routines, this year's pantomime at the Milton Keynes Theatre is lots of fun.
Reviewed by Suzanne Mayer
Aladdin runs at the Milton Keynes Theatre until Sunday 10th January 2016.
Please visit www.atgtickets.com for further information and tickets.