AFTER seeing this show I can declare that my Christmas has now officially started.
With two children — a boy and girl aged 10 and seven — it’s not always easy to find something that will entertain them both. This pantomime really did the trick. From the moment it started they were totally drawn in.
Former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan played the villain Abanazar and from the start he drew an immediate boo and hiss from the audience.
His varying one-liners and jokes worked for the many different age groups in the audience.
Another old veteran of the little screen, Basil Brush, took centre stage as the Genie of the lamp. It’s a long time since I’ve seen Basil and you forget how infectious that laugh is. His ditty What Did The Fox Say? had all the children clapping and laughing.
Talking of the music, almost every song was a version of a well-known popsong adapted of course to fit the scene, including Abba’s Waterloo and I’m Gonna Be by the Proclaimers. The audience were singing along, clapping — and at one stage everyone was up dancing.
Giovanni Spano was endearing and funny as Aladdin — you couldn’t help but like him, and hope that he would finally marry his princess Jasmine.
The show opened this week, so it was early days, and on more than one occasion we wondered: “Was that meant to happen?” and “Did he really mean to slip over?” Who knows?
The cast were either fabulous at ad-libbing or just having a ball on stage. It didn’t really matter — in fact it all added to the fun.
Those people who are regulars at Windsor pantos would have recognised the Twelve Days Of Christmas routine — it is clearly done every year to great hilarity — and the audience participated with glee.
A number of the cast have been in panto at Windsor for a few years now, and clearly had a following in the audience which again just added to the intimate feel of the theatre.
It seats 600 but it felt so much more intimate, which meant you really felt part of the performance.
The penultimate scene was my favourite. I won’t say what happens because it will give the game away, but suffice to say that Widow Twankey really stole the show and had us literally in stitches.
A fantastic night out enjoyed by all ages, and well worth the trip to Windsor.
Aladdin is at the Theatre Royal, Windsor until January 5. Box office: 01753 853888 or visit www.theatreroyal windsor.co.uk
Theatre Royal, Windsor
Tuesday, December 10