Sheringham Little Theatre pantomime is a cracker

Aladdin - Sheringham Little Theatre

It was a pantomime. But not exactly as we know it.

There was a healthy dose of 'oh no you don'ts', plenty of great gags and even a touch of 'he's behind you'.

But this was panto for the 21st century, complete with extraordinary renditions of songs by pop princesses Lady Gaga, Cheryl Cole and Pink.

When thrown into the pot with dazzling, gravity-defying costumes, scenes that swept between Peking and Sheringham, and a dash of topical jokes about Tesco, it made for an unforgettable evening.

I'm not easily convinced by pantos. But this is well worth catching.

Superb scripts by local lad Greg Powles provided a framework on which some excellent actors wove their magic.

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Russel Hicken was outstanding as Widow Twankey, and rose to the occasion - and the high notes - during an X-Factor-style show where he donned the clothes and the attitude of Cheryl Cole and Lady Gaga.

Cornelius Garrett had the look of Ming the Merciless in his role as the evil Abanazar. Boooo. And Dale Page as Aladdin and Clare Reilly as Princess Dewdrop played the lead roles with aplomb.

The local touch really won me over, though. For, not looking at all out of place alongside the professionals, George Robson as Frank the genie, the six-strong Peeks and PC Pong's team of Kiddicops did North Norfolk proud.

With some toe-tapping, hand-clapping tunes and lots of laughs, this was one of few things that made all of my children - and their grumpy dad - smile.

All in all, a pre-Christmas cracker.

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