Thrilling traditional 
panto truly stands out


Aladdin, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, until January 12

Just when you think Chris Jordan’s traditional pantomimes at the Devonshire Park Theatre can’t get any better he comes up with another masterpiece.

Aladdin is one of the best-known pantomimes that many people have seen in their lives, so to make it exceptional you have to come up with something different.

That is exactly what the Eastbourne Theatres’ artistic director has done.

Chris not only wrote the pantomime but directed it as well and he has struck just the right balance by making it appeal to adults and children alike.

Abanazaar is not only the baddie, he is also a talented magician and he performs two great illusions on stage that are impossible to detect how they are done.

There are also special effects that will thrill you, fire, smoke and an amazing flying carpet that seems to have no possible means of support.

As usual the casting is just right, Shaun Williamson, best known for his role as Barry in EastEnders, is a great Abanazaar and Martyn Knight is back for his 10th year playing Dame, this time in the role of Widow Twankey.

Local comedian Tucker is a splendid foil as Wishey Washey and Richard Pocock is a splendid Emperor.

C.G. Fraser, known to everyone as Fraser is a very good choice to play the Genie of the Lamp sending female hearts fluttering in his lycra costume while West End actress and dancer Hannah Levane is a lovely Genie of the Ring.

Chris Jordan believes in traditional pantomime and likes to cast a female Principal Boy. Charlene Ford is the definitive Aladdin with a great singing voice and the laundry boy’s love interest Princess So-Shi is well played by Lucie Donmer who was in the original London cast of Shrek – The Musical.

With lovely costumes, great choreography and beautiful sets this is traditional pantomime at its best as it will appeal to anyone from eight (or younger) to 80.

By Amanda Wilkins