Aladdin, Norwich

MIRANDA YATES In all honesty, this Aladdin was a load of old bloomers with jokes that would put a Christmas cracker to shame but, hey, so what? It’s panto.

MIRANDA YATES

Disney may have shrivelled our children's imaginations down to the tiniest twinkle in the eye of the millionaire mouse but there is nothing like a dame to bring an old-fashioned story back to life.

In all honesty, this Aladdin was a load of old bloomers with jokes that would put a Christmas cracker to shame but, hey, so what? It's panto and it's live.

Let's put the fluffed lines, technical problems and clumsy acting down to first-night jitters.

The dancing tiny tots and girls in Chinese mini-dresses were sassy and Mark Hudson's Widow Twankey was delightfully bitchy. Best of all, she managed to keep things moving – as much as a girl can do in skyscraper sling-backs and a fur-trimmed pencil skirt. This was in spite of the strange decision to create another Twankeyesque character in the Slave of the Ring. Abanazar was too slimy to be truly evil, whereas Aladdin and Wishey Washey were too young and polite to pull off the one-liners and goad a response from the audience of pensioners. But they do all live happily ever after in glorious nouveau riche splendour. (Oh yes they do).

t Aladdin runs at the Norwich Playhouse until December 23.

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