Aladdin January 2016
Nailsea Musicals geni + 'us' show
The show went on despite an 11th asbestos scare stopping a full dress rehearsal of Nailsea Musicals panto which plays until Saturday, January 23, at the Scotch Horn Leisure Centre.
By tea-time the main auditorium was given the all clear but by that time most of the cast had been stood down.
This Aladdin is the funniest panto I have ever seen – whether it was totally intended I’m not quite sure - the first night audience were literally rolling in the aisles and guffawing loudly.
Aladdin played by songbird Keren Arnold and sporting a Harry Styles from One Direction topknot had homed her thigh-slapping skills to perfection making a successful debut as principal boy.
With a deadpan delivery Chris Dibsdall as Widow Twankey commanded the stage for his one-man comedy stand-up routines wearing outrageous neon wigs and pouting trout lips he wouldn’t be out of place at the Edinburgh Fringe.
The panto one-liners of ‘oh, yes it is’ and ‘it’s behind you’ as well as the ad libs came quick and fast both from on stage and from those sitting in the stalls – it was hilarious.
All the outlying towns got mentioned, Tesco (club points), Waitrose (for posh shoppers), Wetherspoons, Bristol City Football Club and a few grown-up jokes about naughty bits were scripted including some very old Tommy Cooper gags.
The villainous Andy Johnson as Egyptian magician Abanazar who claimed Ukip politician Nigel Farage as a mate was the butt of a rolling joke being mistakenly referred to as Mr Banana.
His ambitious to rule the world was thwarted by the ‘love conquerors everything’ theme.
At one point Abanazar orders the mischievous Spirit of the Ring played by goody, goody comedic actress Laura Shields dressed in pretty harem pink to find him ‘enough Loose Women to be the envy of Prince Harry’.
Buckets full of giggles when she explains that with limited powers the best she could promises was making him first in the ice-cream queue!
However, Rich Waller as her bare-chested (and hairy) green coloured love interest demonstrated what a real Genie could do by building Aladdin a palace with coffers filled with jewels.
The Keystone cops looking for the wee-wee tree and the Chinatown chase were great fun and reminiscent of a Benny Hill routine.
Ian Perry held it all together as Wishee Washee inviting all to join his gang and aided by Backwell and Cleeve brownies conducted the obligatory singalong plus a water-pistol episode to the tune of Ghostbusters.
Chuckled out loud when those in the front row best seats dived for cover rather than getting soaking wet!
Loved Aladdin’s get rich quick idea to join reality show The Only Way Is Peking and his duet from Grease with Jodie Barker as pretty Princess Yasmine singing You are The One That I Want.
The band, chorus and young dancers all added to the village hall feel of people having fun even if the curtain had to be man-handled as times and was the magic carpet ever going to come down to earth?
And a special mention must go to those marvellous performers who took multiply parts from ghosts to Chinese laundry workers and more.
Perhaps the timings could have been slicker and the acoustics more fine-tuned but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment.
The backstage crew and front-of-house people also deserve applause because without a proper run through it required nerves of steel to put on this show.
I won’t spoil the finale for you but watch out for Widow Twankey as a Madonna lookalike in the busty conical costume.
Golden Valley Primary School deputy head teacher Jo Hopkinson was also in the audience on Wednesday to see her class perform in the chorus.
However, on arrival she learned they were the second team of youngsters who were performing on alternative nights and not the first night.
Although she saw lots of former pupils the gallant Mrs Hopkinson is going again tonight!
Pictured right is some of the cast at the December Christmas market.
Although the Saturday matinee is sold out there are limited tickets for the remaining nights.
Nailsea Musical began life as Nailsea Comedy Club in 1977 and the first show I saw was The Sound Of Music in the early 1980s.
It has an 80-strong membership in two junior and adult sections which perform at least one main production and a small concert annually.
Both sections rehearse on at the Mizzymead RecreatIon Centre on Wednesday evenings.
For more information about the thespians click HERE.
Full House for Nailsea’s Aladdin
I have never seen a production by Nailsea Musicals before, nor ever been to Nailsea for that matter, so it was this afternoon that I venture off to see their traditional family pantomime Aladdin.
It was very encouraging to see a full house overwhelmed by children – well it was a Saturday matinee after all!
First of all I must mention the terrific pianist you have (Richard Lennox I believe) who provided a great warm up and maintained his professionalism throughout the entire performance.
There was plenty of smoke to set the scene and then the story unfolded in true pantomime style.
The show ran along smoothly but unfortunately, on occasions, the show lost momentum because of scene changes.
All principals worked hard on their roles, especially Wishee Washee, although some improvements were required to establish their true traditional identity with us.
For example, Abanazar needed to build up a stronger rapport.
There didn’t seem to be enough hatred in him, therefore those ‘boo’s’ never really came from the audience.
I felt Widow Twankey appeared as ‘a man in a dress’.
Far more interaction with her audience together with the asides expected of a pantomime dame was certainly required.
Although she worked hard playing the role I felt comedy was often lacking because of this.
The Spirit of the Ring however, (played by Laura Shields) gave us as an outstanding performance with great enthusiasm and commitment and Aladdin (played by Keren Arnold) always commanded our attention with his posture and manly strut.
You also have some fine singers within the society.
Princess Yasmine (played by Jodie Barker) sang ‘Out here on my own’gently and sweetly while Aladdin, the Genie and the Spirit of the Ring added some impressive singing sequences.
Sets were adequate.
I especially enjoyed the Ghost Busters scene and the Flying Carpet sequence was very cleverly thought through.
Its appearance was very imaginative and creative.
It was a delight to see so many children on the stage for the song sheet.
You could tell that they were all really enjoying themselves and that, of course, is the true meaning of pantomime.
On that note, I thank Nailsea Musicals for taking me on a magical pantomime journey.
Cinderella Trophy Reviews
Saturday, January 23
Somerset Fellowship of Drama
Nailsea Musicals magic carpet
It is almost time for curtain up for Aladdin by Nailsea Musicals.
The pantomime plays from Wednesday to January 20-23, at the Scotch Horn leisure centre.
Performances are at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.
Tickets adults £11, u16s £8 and a family ticket for two adults and two children is £35.
Join Widow Twankey, Aladdin, Princess Yasmine and Wishee Washee on their adventures in the ancient city of Old Peking. Soar with the cast as they reach for the stars on a magic carpet ride of non-stop panto thrills, spills and downright silliness.
Can Aladdin become a Prince and marry Princess Yasmine?
Will the evil Abanazar be stopped or even seduced by Twankey? and
What will become of Wishee Washee and maid Zing Zong?
One thing’s for sure whether you’re parent, grandparent or part of an extended family the show will be sheer GENIEus.
Hot on the heels of Snow White and the Magnificent Seven Dwarfs, Nailsea Musicals brings you an Aladdin’s cave of sparkling festive entertainment.
Hilarious for all ages
Slap-stick mess and sweeties
Lots of chances to get involved
Should you be booking now to guarantee your family’s festive entertainment?
Oh yes you should!
This show is expected to sell-out quickly and you'll get a 10 per cent group discount if you book tickets for 10 or more people at the same performance.
Click HERE to go to the online booking office.
Nailsea Musicals publicity and marketing manager Gary Bressington is looking for more front-of-house peeps to help during pantomime season. People are need for selling raffle tickets, programmes and to showing people to their seats. It will be on a voluntary basis but you do get to see the show for free! Are you over 16 and able to offer either one night or the whole run? Please PM Gary on Facebook if interested or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click HERE for review.