Monday, 3 December 2007

Aladdin - Liverpool Everyman Theatre

Aladdin by Sarah Ann Nixon & Mark Chatterton
Liverpool Everyman Theatre
23rd Nov – 12th Jan
Directed by Mark Chatterton
Composer: Tayo Akinbode
Choreography: Beverley Edmonds
Review by The O’Toole Family

As press nights go, I am guessing a 10 minute delay on curtain up isn’t going to impress the hoards of reviewers coming to see this year’s festive offering at the Liverpool Everyman, all I can say is thank goodness that they have cooked up a first class show.

Everything about this show was of the highest quality and writers Mark Chatterton (also the director) & Sally Ann Nixon have created a fast flowing script full of humour for both children and adults alike. Chatterton has used the colourful and well designed set by Jocelyn Meall to its full extent, with traps and hidden entrances being used to full effect, even the props were so spectacular that you can’t help being enticed in this theatrical tour de force, he has wok’d up a festive delight that has great comic moments and is visual and aural candy, even the costumes looked good enough to eat (candy floss wig anyone?) This production never feels tired or shows a lack of energy, it is full of surprises and Christmas show magic that has seemed to have been lost by the big cold and lifeless panto’s full of z list celebrities, where value for money and entertainment don’t seem to be the highest on their list.

The casting of this show was amazing, it’s rare to find a panto where the cast aren’t trying to out do another, this really is ensemble performance at its best. Although the kids do want to point out that Francis Tuckers ‘Dottie Twanky’ was their favorite and had them laughing from beginning to end ‘especially the water pistol scene.’ For us adults watching Steve Simmonds’ genie is ‘Genie-us’ (see what I did there?) for our money he is the best genie in pantoland.

As a family that live in the Merseyside area we have seen lots of Christmas shows, and with the Gateway Theatre in Chester now closed we look to Liverpool to see a homegrown show that will delight our family. All I can say is Liverpool you have done it. In all my 38 years this has been the best Christmas production I have seen and I will now only be taking my family to the festive offerings of The Everyman Theatre
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