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Under Aladdin's spell

PUBLISHED: 11:41 03 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:09 11 August 2010

Craig Stevens, Irene Davis and Sandra Marriott

Craig Stevens, Irene Davis and Sandra Marriott

THE MAGIC of the pantomime had the audience spellbound as Blackmore Players presented Aladdin at the weekend. As we have come to expect from this talented compact company, the entertainment came f9ast and furious in this classic tale of good versus evil i

THE MAGIC of the pantomime had the audience spellbound as Blackmore Players presented Aladdin at the weekend.

As we have come to expect from this talented compact company, the entertainment came f9ast and furious in this classic tale of good versus evil in Old Pekin - actually the village hall in tiny village of Blackmore near Brentwood.

Directed by Jean Appleton, with a script written by author, Jim Sperinck, some vintage hit songs from among the world's greatest composers, a rumbustious performance from pantomime dame, Widow Twankey - Barry Kirk, again donning outrageous frocks, following his previous showing as dame Sarah in Dick Whittington two year's ago - and colourful sets, there was more than enough to keep the audience of young and old alike, enthralled to the end.

Craig Stevens was superb as nasty Abanazar, desperately trying to get his hands on the magic lamp to transform him into the most powerful sourcerer in the world; Jim O'Sullivan his usual comical self, this time as Twankey's lackey, Wishee Washee; and with towering goggle-eyed Keith Goody as the Emperor, all aided and abetted by the rest of the cast, the afternoon fairly rattled along.

For good old sentimental, yours truly, among the highlights were the songs: If I Ruled the World from Mr Abanazar; Happy Talk from the romantic couple, Aladdin (Vicky Miller), and the Princess (Amy Pudney), and I Wonder Why by the Genie of the Lamp (Mike Jefferyes), and Slave of the Ring (Barbara Harrold).

Throwing in for good measure Messrs Kirk and O'Sullivan performing Elvis Presley's All Shook Up, a dozen fluorescent skeletons dancing in the dark to Michael Jackson's Thriller, and young dancers to Stranger In Paradise, borrowed from Borodin, made the whole proceedings extremely enjoyable.

Youngsters in the audience were in particularly fine voice, trying to warn Abanazar's bungling cohorts,Ming Farz (Irene Davis), and Abdul (Sandra Marriott), to 'look behind you,' and were given a special treat when the whole cast left the stage to greet them after the final curtain.

There is nothing like a panto to put a smile on the face, and keep the blues away, and once again, the Players have really done the trick.


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