Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Eye Theatre

The family panto is always a popular event at Eye and this year is no exception.

The Arabian Knights' tale of the exotic east by Norman Robbins was enlivened by director Tom Scott's special touches with the accent on comedy and local references.

The cast of five worked their socks off, sharing more than 13 parts and must be praised for their quick changes of character and costume.

Jamie Honeybourne as Tinbad the Tailor, also doubled as Ali Baba, and had the audience – in which young children predominated – joining in in all the right places, while Alan Gibbons followed in the footsteps of previous Eye dames as he gave a cracking performance in an array of psychedelic costumes.

Carrie Shaw and Michelle Lobo as the Principal Boy and Girl made an attractive pair, their stunning voices harmonising well.

Sarah Groarke as Avarice and Hanky Panky had a tremendous stage presence and a feeling for comic songs.

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Peter Sowerbutts had just the right voice for the villain of the piece, Raschid, the leader of the 40 thieves and also doubled as Ali's rich miserly brother.

Ali Baba continues until Saturday January 3. Box office: 01379 870519.

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