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A very good chuckle with Paul and Barry

PUBLISHED: 15:53 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:16 11 August 2010

This year s big spectacular Aladdin! at Southend s Cliffs Pavilion until January 4, 2009 has just everything going for it. Firstly there is the outstanding traditional comedy routines performed by the Chuckle Brothers, Barry and Paul, who have been makin

This year's big spectacular Aladdin! at Southend's Cliffs Pavilion until January 4, 2009 has just everything going for it.

Firstly there is the outstanding traditional comedy routines performed by the Chuckle Brothers, Barry and Paul, who have been making youngsters and adults laugh with their antics for more than 50 years and who are the perfect comedy double act to play Wishee and Washee.

Then there is the talented young Chris Crosby, who has already won accolades for his performances in musicals in the West End and was one of the runners-up in the BBC's Any Dream Will Do competition.

In the title role he is a big hit and has plenty of the younger girls and some of the older ones too swooning at his feet.

Add in the likes of Robin Askwith as a guest star evil Abanazar, Natalie Waters making a good job of music with rewritten lyrics from shows like Joseph and High School Musical and bags of pace with it all topped by the panto's trump card, the cartoon 3-D Genie of the Lamp, and you have something really special.

With the audience really able to join the panto characters on a magic carpet which takes them flying over the deserts and jungles in 3-D, loads of nasties like rocks, projectiles spiders, bats and snakes and even a fire-eating dragon appearing within touching distance this really outdoes even some of the most spectacular effects seen in the cinema. for these sequences are sometimes 10 minutes long.

The only real weakness is Dave Short's WidowTwankey, which to say the least is "wishee-washee" and lacks impact visually and vocally with his jokes falling completely flat.

But overall this Aladdin at the Cliffs Pavilion is one of the best of its kind I have ever seen!


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