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Review: Aladdin at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

PUBLISHED: 14:10 10 December 2018

Aladdin at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

Aladdin at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

Archant

It’s the season of terrible puns, magic lamps, and generous genies: Aladdin, the all-new panto at the Everyman, has been written by none other than legendary Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, and stars everyone’s favourite clown, Tweedy. The Barnard family from Nailsworth - mum, dad, Harriet (12) and Lewis (6) - made a Wishee (Washee) for tickets; grabbed their car (Window Twan) keys; and dashed off to see A Ladd In Cheltenham

Wow what a performance, a new format this year being Written and Directed by Peter Duncan, embracing the digital age with some interesting uses. A return to the Everyman stage for Ben Darcy as Aladdin. Isn’t the lead played by a girl I hear you ask? Oh no it isn’t...well not this year anyway. It was an inspired change and really brought the show together. Both Ben and Grace Eccle, Princess Xiao Xue, have beautiful voices and the musical numbers were modern and delivered in great showman style.

‘Have a banana’, oops I mean ‘Abanazer’ brings out the boos but without his dastardly deeds there would be no lamp to rub and a Genie to be unleashed. Will it be Bowie, Price or Michael? Whatever you get Miguel Angel will rock the moves.

Tweedy has been given more time to ‘adlib’ and you can really see the rapport between the cast but they are still unsure what antics he may get up to. The Twelve days of Christmas was such a hoot, I really would go back just to see that again.

Meeting Tweedy the Clown at The Everyman Theatre, CheltenhamMeeting Tweedy the Clown at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

A new dame treads the boards and very funny she is too; a bit more slapstick and current affairs savvy she manages to avoid Tweedy’s chaos. This is all saved up for the dynamic duo PC Ping and PC Pong, I certainly won’t be giving them my washing to go to the launderette!

Overall we all laughed continuously and although different it is still well worth going to see with quite a few performances already sold out.

Abanazer booed and hated by all

Laugh as Tweedy runs into the wall

Aladdin was in great voice

Despite his loves foolish choice

Digweed was up to his fantastic feats

Inspired music and arrangement that hit the beats

Noon or night wonderful memories for keeps

Aladdin, at Cheltenham’s Everyman, runs until Sunday, January 13. For tickets and more information, visit everymantheatre.org.uk, or call the box office on 01242 572573. The Everyman is in Regent Street, Cheltenham GL50 1HQ.

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