Panto season is well and truly upon us, and this year’s offering at Manchester Opera House – Aladdin – is a festive treat for all the family.
With fantastically lavish sets, fun-packed frolics, a smattering of stage magic and some songs to get the toes tapping and the hands clapping, this show is a hit with kids of all ages.
Right from the off, the show provides the near-perfect blend of lots of fun for the kids and a flurry of gags the adults can enjoy, although one or two were a little cringey – referring to male dancers as pansies. Maybe that should stay in the 1970s.
Bu there is plenty to enjoy from John Thomson’s nod to his Jazz Club character in the Fast Show to the sing song with some children from the audience near the end and a mention for groups across Manchester who were there on the night, including Newall Green Brownies.
Pop star Ben Adams from boy band A1 is excellent as the poor boy who makes it good after rubbing a magic lamp unleashing the all-powerful genie. And Cold Feet star John Thomson is the perfect villain, Abanazar, whose evil machinations get the kids booing.
Sherrie Hewson also shines as the Genie of the Ring and magician Neil Henry wows the audience with his skills making a birds and rabbits appear while providing a comedically sound rendition of the hapless Wishee Washy.
But the undoubted mainstay of the show is Eric Pott’s Widow Twankey. Every comic line is perfectly timed and the show is a triumph for Potts who directs as well starring in the production.
It’s great fun so bring the family to the Opera House to complete your Christmas
Runs till January 8 2017