Deborah van Wyk reviews Cambridge Arts Theatre’s festive panto
The Aladdin Pantomime at the Cambridge Arts Theatre is a complete delight for the senses, for all the family. My nine-year-old son attended this theatrical masterpiece with me and I think he underestimated the treat he was in for. I peered over at him a few times during the performance to find him beside himself with laughter – for a normally reserved child, he was totally invested in every minute.
That said, I’m not sure which of us enjoyed it more! I found myself still giggling about some of the jokes the next day. One of the most memorable moments of the evening was when curvaceous Dame Widow Twankey burst onto the stage singing Dancing Queen in a red, black and gold jumpsuit reminiscent of those seen in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. And when the Genie of the Lamp started singing The Greatest Show, his golden voice got every foot tapping. Wishy-Washy stole our hearts with his sharp wit, along with his best friend Gordon the Monkey who had us all jigging to and singing the popularised children’s song Baby Shark. And my son could hardly believe it when Aladdin was elevated almost above our heads on the magic carpet singing This Is Me. His amazed response was, “How do they do that?”
When I asked my son what he enjoyed the most about the panto, he said it was definitely Gordon the Monkey, who was hilarious. My favourite part? An almost impossible choice – I loved it all so much. It was an evening of exceptional colour, song, acting, dancing and all of the usual panto fun: local jokes, audience participation and slapstick comedy. In just a few words: highly-professional family entertainment at its very best.
Aladdin runs at Cambridge Arts Theatre until 6 January with tickets £16-£45, available here.