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Review: Aladdin at Whitley Bay Playhouse

All Smiles In Whitley Bay

Blue Genie Entertainment presents
Whitley Bay Playhouse
Until Monday 2nd January 2017

Aladdin had us laughing from start to finish. It has a great cast, excellent pace and knows how to entertain. Today’s show also featured the loudest reaction from the younger members of the audience so far in this year’s panto season.

Boyzone’s Shane Lynch plays Abanazer, the evil one, who is told by the Slave Of The Ring (Natasha Boyde) he needs a lad called Aladdin (Sam Ebenezer) to dig out a lamp to reveal the genie known as the Geordie Of The Lamp (Georgia Nicholson) in order to obtain his desires.   
Poor unsuspecting Aladdin works with his mother Widow Twankey (Paul Harris) and brother Wishee Washee (Steve Walls) in a Peking laundry. His love interest is the Princess Jasmine (Charoltte Chinn) upon whom no one is supposed to look  when she visits the town. Such rules are enforced by the hapless law enforcers PC Left (Rebecca Shorrocks) and PC Right (Paul F Taylor).

Blue Genie Entertainment have delivered a great panto here. Writer & director Paul Ferguson has created a tight show that doesn’t get too bogged down with either the exposition or the delivery of the panto standards such as the messy scene. The disappearing scene, to the music of Ghostbusters, is typical in that it is fun, interactive and doesn’t run longer than it needs to. 
It was in this part in particular that we heard a really loud young audience getting really excited. Producer Gary Telfer has ensured there are good production values throughout the show, the magic flying carpet scene getting a loud “wow!” from the kids.

The cast are engaging and successful in bringing the audience on board. Steve Walls immediately succeeds in getting the children involved and feeling a part of the proceedings. There is the necessary chemistry between the lead characters: Aladdin is suitably charming and the Princess enigmatic. The genies are fun, Georgia gets many laughs and Natasha Boyde gets plenty of opportunity to show how literally flexible she is. The professional dancers and young dancers from Hazel Rayson Theatre Dance School added to the show.

Shane Lynch seems to enjoy playing the bad guy though it was difficult to dislike his character. Double act Short & Curly were a tribute to Monty Python style humour, in particular The Ministry of Silly Walks.

On a day when a former X-Factor contestant is getting bad press for taking the script on stage, blaming a lack of opportunity to learn it, we should heap praise on Whitley Bay’s panto dame.  Paul Harris has just come on board with the show. 24 hours after receiving the script he was on stage, working completely off book. There was no clipboard and script needed for this professional. Based upon today’s show you’d never have guessed that he was a late addition.

It is easy to see why this panto attracts families with younger children. Aladdin is a great panto. It has laughs, local references and is accessible to the young audience. Add a chance for the adults to enjoy some Boyzone hits at the end and lots of audience participation and we’ve have all of the essential ingredients for a canny family experience.

Review by Stephen Oliver (Follow on Twitter: @panic_c_button)

Read the North East Theatre Guide preview & charity announcement: 

Tickets for Aladdin costing £23 - £19, £21 - £17 conc., Family Special £14 per person, Groups £17/£16, Youth Groups £16/£15 are available now.

Tickets are available from the Box Office open Monday – Friday
10am – 4pm, Saturday 10.30am – 2.30pm plus until show start on event days. Tickets can also be purchased on the booking hotline 0844 248 1588* or online at

*Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

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