Charles Essex reviews Aladdin at the Talisman Theatre, Kenilworth
It is Christmas so it is The Nutcracker at the ballet and pantomime season at the theatre. The Talisman chose Aladdin and the director very cleverly merged experienced actors with newer and younger performers which will pay dividends in future as the latter will have gained confidence from this.
Several of the younger chorus members are coming through the Talisman Youth Theatre and this was an ideal vehicle for them to expand their range. Kieran Roberts as the Genie of the Lamp showed a remarkable confidence. The dance routines were a little unsophisticated but the chorus from primary school age upwards clearly enjoyed themselves and the teenagers showed their dance training.
Two of the leading men carried the narrative and moved it along apace. Alistair Joliffe, a seasoned pantomime performer, as Widow Twankey was everything that a panto dame needed to be, whilst Kevin Wing, an accomplished song-and-dance man, was an ideal audience link man as dippy son Wishee Washee. Kim Arnold as Aladdin projected herself boldly but Hannah Dodd’s speaking and singing as Princess Jasmine needed more volume.
It was quite a coup for The Talisman to get someone of Lindsay Ann Bryan’s experience as the Slave but surely we should be moving away from scantily dressed women in push-up bras – even in pantomime – and this reviewer looks forward to seeing her in more serious productions.
Pop songs were enjoyed immensely by even the very young members of the audience who seemed to know the actions – presumably boy bands and girl bands choreographed these as they performed them and even the oldies quickly picked them up.
This family friendly production was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and would be ideal for extended family groups from primary school children to grandparents and as a first theatre experience.
* Aladdin runs until January 5. Visit www.talismantheatre.co.uk or call 01926 856548 to book.