My lovely friend did the review for me this year:-
We made our annual pilgrimage to the pantomime in Richmond this year with the usual levels of excitement and anticipation. I have been going with my four girls every Christmas for the last ten years and they always love the experience.
This year they are staging Aladdin starring Suzanne Shaw from Hearsay/Emmerdale as the Genie and the Slave of the Ring and Helena Dowling from Nick Jr as Jasmine. Tim Vine makes his fourth appearance in panto at Richmond as Wishee Washee, he is always a firm favourite in our house.
As usual the costumes and sets were lavish and beautifully done. Suzanne Shaw played two roles, the Genie of the Lamp and the Slave of the Ring – there were many jokes at the expense of the producers for doubling up her role. She sang very well and gave a confident performance. Whilst the show is named after him, Aladdin isn’t really the ‘star’ of the show as the comedy performances from Widow Twanky and Wishee Washee take centre stage. Aladdin was good looking, and rather flirty! I wasn’t sure whether he was more interested in the Genie or Jasmine at times – men! The evil Abanazar, played by Jonathan Ellis wasn’t physically scary – he actually looked rather urbane and sophisticated in his beautiful robes – more of a control freak. He was in stark contrast to the OTT outfits worn by Widow Twanky – quite amazing to look at and Graham Hoadly was superb in the role. Jasmine was a good singer and dancer but not particularly memorable.
However the stand out scene for us all was when Aladdin sang whilst flying on his magic carpet. This was done very well with a lovely , sparkly night sky backdrop full of twinkling lights as Gareth Leighton was suspended up in the air. I can imagine small children being enthralled and even my 13 year old thought it was “cool!”
Christmas isn’t Christmas in our house unless we have been to the panto in Richmond.
Photos by Peter Schiazza