Review of KD Theatre Production’s ‘Aladdin’ in Soham

Wow! What a production! KD Theatre Productions presented a wonderful pantomime at Soham tonight. Daniel Bell and his co-producer Katherine Hickmott certainly know how to entertain. The sheer vibrant energy of the performance, the enthusiasm for revelling in every moment of drama and the quality of singing and dance made this show unforgettable.

This was more than ‘pantomime’, it was a dramatic and colourful event. As author, producer and designer-dressed Widow Twanky, Daniel Bell was central to all things. He and the cast emanated a love of theatre that was irresistible and made the show unforgettable – a highlight of the season. I have never seen a dame able to change so swiftly into so many amazing costumes be they laundy dowager and duck adorer, Cleopatra or jungle Girl. Daniel certainly put his own personal stamp on the  dame. He moved across the stage with amazing alacrity and charisma, even in very high heels, and entranced the audience as he led this fine team in the telling of the tail of the handsome young Aladdin (Lucy Bell) and his desire for the lovely princess Tamara (Emily Robinson).

Abanazar (Tommy D. Kelly Hadley) was the dastardly evil magician determined to thwart Aladdin and rule the world. Robyn Howe made a wonderfully disgruntled Slave of the Ring while So Shi (Mollie Shaw), the Emperor of China (Ben Elgar) and his Empress (Emily Palmer) were the concerned companions of the beautiful princess Tamara (Emily Robinson).

Aladdin (Lucy Bell) slapped the thigh and exuded youthful innocence as the young hero of the plot.

There was everything you could possibly want in this delightful pantomime: verse, strings of corny jokes, sly references to local people and things, slapstick and most of all, a general sense of vitality and joy. The ‘ah’ factor was ever present aided by Oodle (Karina Locke) and Noodle (Susannah Martin) who were hilarious bungling policemen – their gestures and actions in the best of over-the-top tradition. Other favourite and effective characters were Wishee Washee (Don Owen) and his cuddly side-kick Pandy the Panda (Jake Shaw). It will be impossible to forget Wishee Washee trapped in the washing machine, his head revolving as the machine ‘turned’. Matt Brown was the ideal Genie of the Lamp, thumping his chest and announcing his powerful role in vehement tones.

Almost equalling such a host of outrageous showmanship was the splendid Chinese dragon that drew gasps of delight from the audience.

Musical numbers packed the show and the singers and the band were first class. Some of the most enjoyable pieces included ‘It’s Never too late to Fall in Love’ and a highly original version of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’. Never before have we seen so many household washing items displayed in such a manner! The fact that only four of the cast were waving around the 12 different sets of objects – be they pots and pans, plastic ducks or bra fit for three – made the piece even more delectable as the four of them flustered back and forth from item to item.

The choreography by Katherine Hickmott was dazzling, as always, and the show sparkled with the dancers’ lithe movements and delightful culminating tableaux. The dancing skeletons certainly added to the darker side of events.  The Panto Babes, Intermediate Dancers and the youngsters filled the stage with swift cohesive movements adding considerable colour and vitality. There are only two words to describe the dancers’ overall contribution: – sheer pizzazz.

With strong contributions from a host of supporters, the production was an undoubtred success. It was no wonder that extra shows had to be put on to satisfy this company’s increasing popularity.

We left the show with the feeling that this dark winter evening was very well spent after watching such a marvellous production.

http://www.kdtheatreproductions.co.uk

Rosemary Westwell

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One Response to “Review of KD Theatre Production’s ‘Aladdin’ in Soham”

  1. Shirley Says:

    A perfect reply! Thanks for taking the treuolb.

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