One of my earliest and happiest memories of my childhood, was going as a family to the pantomime. This is one tradition that I have tried to carried over with my own family. I think Christmas in one of the main times for traditions. These could be from your childhood or why not start a new tradition.
Pantomimes are perfect for all the family, no matter what age. It is a chance to take time out from hectic Christmas preparations and enjoying time together as a family, with friends or as a night out to the theatre. The feel good songs, lovable characters and of course the booing of the baddies. I love hearing all of the children getting excited screaming ‘he’s behind you’. Pantomimes indeed make me feel festive and ready for the Christmas build up.
The Wyvern Theatre in Swindon, kindly invited us to attend press night and see the production of this years pantomime….Aladdin. Starring Eastenders longest cast member, Ian Beale. Otherwise known as the talented Adam Woodyatt playing the evil baddie Abanazar (commence the booing). This actually is Adam’s 12th pantomime. Last year Adam actually squirted my husband Antony in the face…..much to my amusement.
Josie originally was thinking of the Disney classic Aladdin. This is of course the pantomime version but there are similarities such as the lamp, genie and magic carpets and of course Aladdin.
This pantomime version of Aladdin brings in many characters such as Aladdin (Adam Bailey), Princess Jasmine (Rosanna Harris), Genie (Richard J Hunt), Widow Twankey (Neil Bromley), Wishee Washee (Gary Jerry), The Emperor (David McKechnie) and Spirit of The Ring (Crischaela Vallender).
The production is brought together by the brilliant Ensemble who brings the scenes even more to life. A great fact I found out was the dancers are part of a Juvenile Chorus and attend local schools and colleges. This is such a great touch for getting youngsters involved and a theatre production experience.
There are many feel good songs including a couple from mine and Josie’s favourite film of 2018… The Greatest Showman. Also including a sing-a-long of Baby Shark with Wishee Washee. You can’t help but join in with the actions, mainly as the song tends to stick in your head.
One part of the pantomime that was magical was the scene with Aladdin soaring through the sky on the magic flying carpet. Josie’s face was an absolute picture as she couldn’t work out how Aladdin was flying. For a pantomime you expect the normal special effects like the strategically placed smoke when Abanazar appeared on stage. The flying carpet really made the pantomime shine.
The whole cast put on an amazing production. Adam Woodyatt again was brilliant, there was a hysterical scene with Wishee Washee, Abanazar and Widow Twankey in her laundrette, which had me crying with laughter.
Wishee Washee played by Gary Jerry was one of my favourite characters. Gary encouraged the audience to join in and had everyone clapping along. I also loved the sass of The Genie, Richard who was completely suited to the roll.
This was another fantastic pantomime put on by The Wyvern in Swindon. The Aladdin pantomime production is on until 6th January 2019. Next year is Sleeping Beauty which we will be booking and hopefully be taking Rowan to his first pantomime.