December - January 2017-18
Peek-ing at Aladdin
A big budget production with big stars, big laughs and spine-chilling moments – this is Aladdin the seasonal pantomime now playing at the Bristol Hippodrome.
Comedian Joe Pasquale (Wishee Washee) and pop idol Marti Pellow (Abanazar) star in this all-singing and all-dancing spectacular which has the glitz and glamour of a West End musical.
While definitely not to be compared with an amateur dramatical show in a draughty village hall when things go wrong it does have belly-aching parallels as the professionally cast get the non-stop giggles.
Be warned though if you have pre-school children or those of a nervous disposition it can be scary because monsters and things that go bump in the night abound and there is a torturous scene involving huge serrated wheels!
The Bristol fan base for the stars was evident as loud applause greeted both when they appeared on stage and adding fantastically elaborate costumes, impressive scenery, roving neon coloured spotlights and traditional script the Wednesday night audience was loving-it.
Big cuddly pandas, penguins doing the can-can, baby elephant that bumps into the scenery and Gurt-lush Bristol blue blow-up Genie who hails from Easton-in-Gordano all counter the terror of the 3D creatures who lurk in the deep but it was King Khan a Kong-like ape monster that provided the most fear.
With a magic carpet that loops-the-loop you do wonder - are they trying too hard?
Widow Twankee (David Robbins) is pantomime dame extraordinaire and a washerwoman - a mini-skirted, knobbly kneed scrubber with Queen Mother glam and a Kardashian-style bum.
Aladdin ((Alex Gerred) adventures falling from the apple tree overlooking the Peking palace makes his mother retort about crushing his Cox Pippin that will never be Golden Delicious again – oh yes, it is panto humour throughout with lots of crotch gyrating irritants.
There are funny Mastermind and tongue-twisting sequences which even Scottish-born Marti playing the baddie failed to keep a straight face when ‘situation’ was continuously mispronounced although his accent slipped to an American twang sometimes.
The front-of-house exchange using a helium induced high pitch voice and lethal stool stage prop produced a Golum moment of Lord of the Rings with Wishee Washee pleading with Yvonne sitting in the front row.
Princess Jasmine (Hayley Tamaddon) is the little girls favourite but sadly I do wonder if pantomime in its present form will go the way of the old music halls because something tells me it is past its sell-by-date and the audience fails reflect the diversity of a city population.
Full marks go to the orchestra which has talented Nailsea musician Ben Waghorn on sax.
Pasquale and Pellow plus 1
REVIEW: Comedy legend Joe Pasquale, recording and musical theatre star Marti Pellow and Emmerdale and Coronation Street’s Hayley Tamaddon will lead the cast in this year’s magical family pantomime Aladdin at the Bristol Hippodrome.
Follow Aladdin, his hapless brother, and of course his mother Widow Twankey, on a spectacular adventure featuring a beautiful love story, flying carpets, a wish-granting genie, an evil sorcerer and a lamp packed full of spectacular family entertainment.
Brought to you by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, Aladdin features all of the ingredients of the perfect pantomime; a fabulous cast and orchestra, laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery and special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses for all the family to enjoy.
Tickets for the show which opens on Saturday, December 9, are already on sale.
Comedian and star of ITV’s Dancing on Ice, Joe Pasquale stars as Wishee Washee.
Well-known for being one of the hardest-working and top-selling live comedians in British comedy today, Joe has been delighting audiences for more than 20 years with his live stand-up tours and infectious sense of fun.
Along the way he’s voiced characters for Hollywood movies Garfield: A Tale Of Two Kitties and Horton Hears A Who!, toured in several major theatrical productions including Mel Brooks’ The Producers, starred in the West End production of Spamalot, been crowned King of the Jungle in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me out Of Here; appeared on five Royal Variety Performances and even learned to skate for ITV1’s Dancing On Ice – no mean feat!
Joe is currently guest starring on ITV’s Live At The London Palladium with Bradley Walsh.
The hugely talented performer Marti Pellow co-stars in the role of the evil sorcerer Abanazar.
Achieving some of the UK’s biggest number-one singles, Marti has regularly featured in the UK charts throughout his career, both as a solo artist and as the frontman to Wet Wet Wet.
The BRIT and Ivor Novello award-winning artist has released more than 20 studio albums, including his new hit album Mysterious.
Marti has enjoyed over 25 hit singles and continues to sell out with his live concerts and arena shows – including this year’s sold-out Mysterious Tour.
In addition to his music, Marti has also starred in numerous high-profile theatre productions in the West End and on Broadway, including Chicago, Blood Brothers and recently the sold-out, award-winning musical Evita for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the WhatsOnStage Awards.
He’s also had the privilege to work alongside Tim Rice in his concert film of Chess, and with Jeff Wayne in the international arena tour of War of The Worlds.
Marti has also starred in many record-breaking theatre tours, including The Witches of Eastwick, Blood Brothers and Jekyll & Hyde. Marti continues to work with Wet Wet Wet who will be celebrating 30 years of Popped In Souled Out with three concerts over the summer.
Marti made his pantomime debut for Qdos Entertainment in the record-breaking 2015 Birmingham Hippodrome production of Aladdin, which he reprised last year at the 3000-seat SEC Armadillo in Glasgow.
Hayley Tamaddon joins them as Princess Jasmine, having played leading roles in Emmerdale as Del Dingle and in Coronation Street as Andrea Beckett.
No stranger to the stage, Hayley starred as the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and most recently completed a UK tour in the leading role of Roxie Hart in Chicago.
Hayley also took to the ice alongside Joe Pasquale on the ninth series of Dancing on Ice: All Stars, coming second in the competition.
Aladdin is produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer.
Qdos Entertainment stages productions of West End scale and quality, featuring spectacular effects, stunning costumes and lots of laugh-out-loud humour.
Qdos Entertainment pantomimes division managing director Michael Harrison said, “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing Joe Pasquale, Marti Pellow and Hayley Tamaddon to the Bristol Hippodrome this Christmas.
"Joe, Marti and Hayley are exceptional panto performers, so we know that Bristol audiences will be in very safe hands this Christmas.”
This year’s Bristol Hippodrome pantomime will also include a magical 3D sequence, which will see audiences transported to Old Peking on a sensational magical carpet ride adventure.
Bristol Hippodrome theatre director Jenny Hutchinson said, “We are so pleased to be working with QDOS again this year on Aladdin.
"With three of the UK’s most loved stars Joe, Marti and Hayley bringing something unique this year for Bristol audiences to enjoy, we anticipate yet another blockbuster family production.”
Aladdin opens on Saturday, December 9 and runs throught to Sunday, January 7.
Tickets from £12 with concessions at certain show - for more details click HERE.
Tickets for the Bristol Hippodrome pantomime Aladdin went on sale at the beginning of February.