When a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie's magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her.
Violet Rowe - Props and Wardrobe John Penberthy - Music Director Mark Hallam - Sound
Presented by Upstage Theatre and the Clarence Park Community Centre Reviewed on 12 July 2014 With each school holidays comes another pantomime season and as local troupe, Upstage Theatre, prepares to celebrate its 18th anniversary, their business, as usual, remains primarily focussed on those much younger. Silly business it is too, with Aladdin, a take on the traditional middle eastern tale of a boy who discovers a genie in a bottle who grants him three wishes and wins him the hand of the Princess. The staging of this touring production can vary according to the venue – sometimes good, sometimes awkward – but Mark Hallam on sound always ensures the cast is heard crystal clear. As stellar as many of the cast are, the many costumes and props by Violet Rowe and others are the absolute star in all their colour, intricacy and humour. They adorn each member of the cast and crew with vibrant riches worthy of Aladdin’s treasure itself. Aladdin’s enthusiasm for life and fun comes in abundance in the hands of effervescent Cherylene O’Brien but Susan Oldknow steals the show hands down this time with her portrayal of the wacky evil sidekick named Salami. Her flair and skill with children is blatantly obvious as she milks her laughs and works the young crowd. John Martin is suitably bad as the villainous Ebenazer (sic), eliciting plenty of boo’s by the end of the play, and rightly so. Deirdre Quinn is delightfully frustrating as Aladdin’s mum, The Widow Twanky, who has a big heart but not so big listening ears when it comes to her kids; and Shelley Pontiac is seductively suited to the belly-dancing role of the Genie of the Ring. Looming above the troupe without so much as a fe-fi-fo-fum, is Paul Trueack, commanding as both a Japanese police office who has a little list, and as the great and powerful Genie of the Lamp. The kid’s favourite of any pantomime always seems to be the Princess though, and Eryn Kralj makes a sweet debut as the royal catch of the day, alongside her brother Liam Kralj as her Courtier. Talented musical director John Penberthy accompanies the action and songs on keyboard with the original music and lyrics blending nicely with the altered lyrics of other well-known tunes. With such a large cast, colourful costumes and an eventful tale, don’t be fooled by the cheap ticket price. While aimed squarely at the children, there are enough verbal asides in the hour to amuse the adults as well. Reviewed by Rod Lewis