ALADDIN – THE PANTO,
PRESENTED BY CONSTANTIABERG THEATRE PLAYERS
DIRECTED BY DI THOM, MUSICAL DIRECTION BY WENDY THOMPSON AND RYAN MIDGLEY
CHOREOGRAPHY BY ANGELA LEE-WRIGHT
MASQUE THEATRE, MUIZENBERG
7 – 22 DECEMBER 2012
REVIEWER: Coleen van Staden
Aladdin, the Panto, is great family fare and an ideal “time out” opportunity to escape the world of traffic and shopping centres, even if for just a couple of hours!
This show needs an audience of children and having seen it on opening night with a mostly adult audience, the spirit of the pantomime with all its booing, hissing and audience participation, was somewhat lacking but I am sure will become an integral part of the production now that the show’s run has begun.
Children will get a great kick out of all the traditional characters – the evil Abanazar, played with great presence and voice by Daniel Enticott, the imposing Empress who wants to mete out punishment at every turn, skillfully played by Helen Mathers, and Aladdin, the hero, played with just the right touch of energy and charm by Marcel Engelbrecht who also has a lovely singing voice.
The supporting characters were all wonderfully costumed – bright, colourful and funny! Some of the performances, however, not so, and this is where the panto disappoints. Actors in these roles require comedic skills, ability to deliver fast paced patter when required, engage confidently with the audience and at most play their characters with larger than life conviction. Mention must be made however of Angela Lee-Wright, playing Tyson the Panda, who lit up the stage with her presence and Nawaal Howa as the Genie of the Lamp who had a fine rapport with the audience.
The production has a large chorus of adults and juniors and again, the costuming of this big cast, is to be applauded. The cast was well supported by the band and although the choreography and musical numbers were generally effective, the show lacks a showstopper or two! The set, props and special effects suppports the production extremely well. Lighting is excellent – hats off to the designer, Brett Radloff and a nod to Shelley Lombard for the animals of the piece!
It is clear that a cast and crew of this size has worked hard on this production and their enjoyment on stage is infectious, so take the children for some theatre fun as you escape into Aladdin’s world.