Writer: Eric Potts
Director: Jane Joseph
Choreographer: Beverley Norris-Edmunds
Musical Director: Andrew Hilton
Love them or hate them, there is no getting away from them at this time of the year – it’s officially Pantomime season!
The Liverpool Empire’s annual pantomime returns this Christmas with the family favourite production ofAladdin.Following the traditional pantomime version of the story Aladdin, son of laundress Widow Twankey, bumps into young Princess Jasmine, co-incidentally finds true love, agrees to go on a dangerous quest to acquire riches, plans to return safely with new found financial security and marry the woman of his dreams. However, just as any good adventure story wouldn’t be complete without a bit of action, complications arise and Aladdin finds himself, in a slight predicament.Aladdintells a tale of romance, comedy, betrayal, adventure, mischief and naturally in true pantomime style, good triumphing evil. Oh no it doesn’t. Oh yes, it does!
Dancing on IceChampion andX FactorFinalist, Ray Quinn has undeniable stage presence and performs with great vigour. As a young, talented and personable all-round entertainer it is only fitting that the Empire cast him as the principle rôle for the second consecutive year. Unlike last year’s pantomime,where Quinn starred alongside his wife inPeter Pan, this year he is supported byRadio City’sLeanne Campbell who stars as the romantic other and ‘one true love’, Princess Jasmine. Local girl andBrooksidestar,Claire Sweeney, co-stars as Genie of the Ring. Another notable performance comes from Ben Engelen who plays Wishee Washey with great comic timing and provides great entertainment for the children.
There was something for everyone at the Liverpool’s Empire pantomime: the music ranged from contemporary chart toppers including Pharrell William’s Happy and Clean Bandit’s Rather Be to Jackie Wilson’s Higher and Higher. In support of the entertaining script and musical performances, the costumes and set are the perfect accompaniment. The whole spectacle is typically brash, bold and when need be doused inglitter and is the perfect combination of both old traditions and new conventions.
Much like Aladdin is granted three wishes from the lamp, the audience couldn’t have wished for three better lead performers. This is evident through their participation and the final applause. OverallAladdinis an energetic and enjoyable performance that the whole family can enjoy.
Runsuntil4 January 2015.