Thursday, 5 January 2017

Aladdin | Grand Theatre

Throughout December I found myself reading review after review praising Aladdin, this year's pantomime at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, and I was disappointed that I hadn't gotten round to booking myself a ticket. Even though Christmas has been and gone, the production runs until the end of January so I managed to snap up a couple of last minute tickets to find out what all the fuss was about.

I've been seeing pantomimes at the Grand Theatre for as long as I can remember and over the years there's been a range of big names gracing the stage. That being said, this year is probably one of the most impressive with a whopping seven celebrity faces in one show. Now I'm not the biggest follower of celebrity culture so I can't say I was hugely familiar with all of them but many members of the audience seemed thrilled to see Lisa Riley, Stefan Pejic and local comedian Doreen Tipton, while the kids were excited to have CBeebies star Mr Bloom as the Chief of Police. For me it was a pleasure to see the lovely Joe McElderry as Aladdin. He has a really boyish charm that suited the role perfectly and he also showed off his brilliant singing voice which blended well with Lucy Kay who played opposite him as Princess Jasmine.

What I like about panto is that you know exactly what you're going to get and Aladdin certainly didn't disappoint. It was full of cheesy jokes, big dance numbers and of course, a bit of soaking the audience with water ! It was the regional jokes that went down particularly well this year, poking fun at Wolverhampton and the surrounding areas and Doreen Tipton got huge cheers after each of her scenes as the Lazy Empress. For me the highlight of the show came in the second half in the form of a routine performed by Widow Twanky, Wishee Washee, the Slave of the Ring and the Chief of Police. It had me and my mom, as well as the rest of the audience, in stitches.

The festive season may be over but there's still plenty of time to catch this riot of a show as the production runs until the 22nd of January. If Joe McElderry singing 'Defying Gravity' while flying upside on a magic carpet appeals to you then check out the Grand Theatre website for tickets.


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