Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to the panto, and this year I was kindly provided with tickets for the press night of Aladdin at the Bournemouth Pavilion. As the show had only just opened, it was a busy night, with a full audience, and the crowds were a little overwhelming. Luckily we found our seats quickly and settled down for the show.
Aladdin is a classic pantomime tale, which I have seen on stage before, and it didn’t disappoint with a mixture of silliness and adult jokes (although occasionally I felt they might have pushed the humour a little too far at points). I was happy to see Pavilion panto regular Noel Brodie back in the role of Wishee Washee, and I found that he really brought the show together.
As it was one of the first shows, there were some blunders with the lines, which is to be expected, although not something we usually witness as we tend to go to one of the last shows in the new year. I must admit, it was some of these incidents which had me and my mum laughing the most.
The cast, especially David Ball playing Widow Twankey, were brilliant at ad-libbing, and improvising when things went wrong. One example was when the bench hadn’t been brought out for the trio to sit on for the monster skit, and a stage hand ran across stage, depositing it on the way. Was it meant to happen? Unlikely. Was it handled well? Yes. Did it make the audience laugh? Most definitely.
As you come to expect with a pantomime, there were some local jokes thrown in amongst the storyline, which always raises a laugh, and there were also some references to politics, all to be taken with a pinch of salt, of course.
The set was fantastic, transporting you to the Chinese back streets, laundry and palace with ease. The children found the scenes in the laundry, in particular, absolutely hilarious, and I must admit, the slapstick humour had the adults laughing along as well.
I found the second act to be stronger than the first, and by the end I was dancing in my seat with my daughter. It’s definitely something the children enjoyed, although I was a little more hesitant, if I am being honest, having preferred some of the previous pantomimes I have seen at the venue in recent years.
Overall, if you are looking for a festive day or night out with the family, Aladdin at the Pavilion in Bournemouth is a good call. There are all the ingredients for a great panto, including familiar faces (Amelia Lily from the X factor and Richard Blackwood from Eastenders shone in their roles as Spirit of the Ring and Abanazar), catchy dance numbers and lots of jokes and double entendres to keep the adults amused. Tickets are available to purchase from the Box Office, over the phone and online, with performances up until 5th January 2020.
We were provided with press tickets for the show, however all words are my own. Images provided by Bhlive