Review: Aladdin lights up New Mills Art Theatre

Jake Ridgeway (ALaddin), Darren Cooper (Widow Twankey) and Connor Wuse (Wishee Washee) in Aladdin at New Mills Art Theatre.
Jake Ridgeway (ALaddin), Darren Cooper (Widow Twankey) and Connor Wuse (Wishee Washee) in Aladdin at New Mills Art Theatre.

Usually I watch the first night when I critique the pantomimes, however this year due to being away I watched the Sunday matinee - a full house - the atmosphere was electric!

This year’s production, Aladdin, was one of the best I’ve seen at New Mills Art Theatre.

rom the moment the curtain went up the audience came alive, booing Abanazar (Sam Bolton) who, as pantomime baddies go, gave a great performance. We then met the lovely Spirit of the Ring (Lisa Quin) with everything said in rhyme and a realistic American accent.

The show moved along at a great pace, and we were introduced to Aladdin (Jake Ridgway). Now this role is normally played by a female, so I did have a slight concern, however, this only lasted a short time as he made the part believable - and by the end I thought his casting was the right move and really enjoyed his performance.

Then came Wishee Washee (Connor Wyse) - so much energy and another great performance.

To me one of the best performances came from the Dame, Widow Twankey (Darren Cooper) - Les Dawson would be proud of it!

Great humour from the policemen, Hu Dun Pong (Graham Fletcher-Shaw) and Yu Dun Wong (Geoff Lunn) - they had the audience in stitches – a very clever duo that worked well.

Fine performances from the Emperor (Barry Jarvis), Princess Mandarin (Mhairi Jennings), So-Shy (Amelia Smith) and the larger than life Genie of the Lamp (Angela Hulme) who had the chance to show off her wonderful voice!

And of course, there was the all singing and dancing chorus who all worked so well together and made the show such fun to watch.

The costumes, sets and lighting, along with great musical numbers from Tim Walker (musical director) and choreography by Cathryn Yates made sure the stage was full of energy adding some very clever moments.

The director, Sean Stennings, was handed a good script and made great use of it to produce a really great pantomime, which is well worth a visit and not to be missed.

Well done Friends of the Art Theatre for an enjoyable afternoon.

Performances continue on February 2 and 3. Tickets £10 (adult), £8 (under 16s). To book or for further information, go to www.ticketsource.co.uk/arttheatrepantomime (bookings fees apply), call 07983 344 862 or email: friendsofthearttheatre@gmail.com