Theatre Royal's Aladdin is sheer genie-us

ON PRESS night, the audience for this year s Aladdin pantomime in Stratford was in for an unusual take-off that did not involve a magic carpet. Instead, they were treated to a real life drama when the building had to be evacuated minutes before the curtai

ON PRESS night, the audience for this year's Aladdin pantomime in Stratford was in for an unusual take-off that did not involve a magic carpet.

Instead, they were treated to a real life drama when the building had to be evacuated minutes before the curtain was raised at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

But an exuberant cast managed to save the day and to keep spirits high while cheer-leading the crowds outside at the fire assembly point.

Within minutes, firefighters had given the all-clear, everyone was back in their seats and the show began.


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And so, in a land of pyramids and genies, the young hero (Darren Kuppan) falls in love with the beautiful princess (Deeivya Meir), who has a weakness for driving trucks.

When he finds the magic lamp, he makes acquaintance with a quiffed Tom Jones-esque genie (Peter Straker), who grants him three wishes.

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Aladdin wishes for wealth and asks the king for the princess' hand. But he must discover that bling cannot buy him love as the princess is much more suited for life on the open roads in a massive truck than for married life.

The plot is supported by the infallible strap-on bust of Ma Twanky (Derek Elroy), Aladdin's charming mother, and by her unconditional and overflowing love for the boy, who she can't wait to get out of the house quick enough.

As Aladdin's greed snowballs, he alienates friends and family until life teaches him a harsh lesson.

The loud and colourful show is fun to watch, the comedy well-timed, and the characters are charming and quirky.

Aladdin is running until January 16 at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, Stratford. Tickets cost �6 for children and concessions and �19 for adults.

- SUKRAN SAHIN

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