Aladdin and his Magical Lamp
ED FOSS Sheringham Little Theatre
> Sheringham Little Theatre
Slapstick, a little sauce, a sword fight and plenty of spectator participation mixed to give a warm family feel to the opening night of a mainly traditional but partly contemporary version of this classic pantomime.
The audience took a while to warm up to taking part, but were helped along, if not bullied, by an excellent panto dame in the rubbery-faced Phil Haze, who starred as Widow Twankey.
Plenty of 'oh no, it's not' and 'it's behind you' moments were combined with topical references to comedy show Little Britain and cult pop tune Is This the Way to Amarillo.
And parochial jokes along the lines of “I've been in that lamp for 1000 years and where do I end up? Sheringham! But it could have been worse, it could have been Cromer!” appealed to what appeared to be a mainly local set of patrons.
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An enjoyable but rather surreal appearance by 8ft tall children's television stars Bananas in Pyjamas entertained, but felt a little awkward.
Having said that, the assembled children seemed to like it, which is, after all, of central importance at any panto.
The performances were personal and suited the cosy confines of the friendly Little Theatre, with the dame reacting particularly well to the audience, managing to tease a handful of people, but falling well short of embarrassing anyone.
Particular praise to the energetic, bright eyed and enthusiastic Aaron White as Aladdin and scar-faced Robert Ashton as villain Abanazer.
Local boy and radio presenter Greg 'evening all' Powles carried off a lanky and well-timed performance as PC Pong.
And my four-year-old daughter was particularly impressed with female lead Princess Lotus Flower, played by Jessica Rose.
Something for everyone, the children were happy, the adults got up and sang as well as enjoying the low-key and subtle bawdiness.
See if you can catch the sweets - and watch out for a sizeable water pistol.
The show runs until January 3. Call the box office on 01263 822347.