After staging Michele Larkin’s highly original and entertaining Christmas shows for the past three years, the Princess Theatre brought a professional panto back to Hunstanton with Aladdin, writes John Maiden.
This was a spectacular, fast moving family pantomime with a talented cast and featuring the biggest Genie in Norfolk.
Under the direction of the experienced Linda Newport the performers had every opportunity to show off their particular talents. Wishee Washee was played by Andy Eastwood, a very clever multi instrumentalist and no stranger to Hunstanton from his appearances on We’ll Meet Again and other shows.
Matthew McLoughlin, Aladdin, joined the cast following round the world trips on cruise ships. The dame was expertly played by local favourite Roger Dean. In addition to being a fine vocalist, Roger is recognised as a leading exponent of the traditional dame role.
Hunstanton’s very own Lucy Rollason is no stranger to the Princess stage and was perfect as Princess Jasmine. More local talent came in the form of juveniles and dancers from the Rollason Stage School, with Michelle Rollason as choreographer.
Mervyn Francis as the evil Abanazer attracted the desired response from the audience, but made sure the jeers did not get in the way of his carefully delivered lines. The same was doubly true of Ping and Pong, expertly performed by Seren and Elise Whyte, a fabulous double act with really great potential.
After the show, the girls, who come from Swansea, said how much they had enjoyed their time in Hunstanton and would love to come back next Christmas to appear in Jack & The Beanstalk – even if it meant playing the front and rear end of the panto cow! But I am sure a more challenging role could be created for the wonderful Whyte sisters who include Shakespeare roles in their repertoire.
The final performance of Aladdin is being staged on Friday afternoon.