Writer: Eric Potts
Director: David Siebert
Reviewer: Shane Morgan
You can’t move at the moment for hearing about austerity measures. There are cuts left right and centre in every walk of life. This year’s traditional family pantomime at the Hippodrome seems to be on the receiving end of those cuts casting wise. The last couple of years have seen the likes of Barbara Windsor and David Hasslehoff taking to the stage. By comparison, 2012 provides the rather underwhelming line up of Carol McGiffin and Josie Gibson sharing the rôle of the Genie – a Loose Women panellist and Big Brother winner respectively – Flawless, a street dance outfit and Hippodrome regular Andy Ford. On paper, austerity seems to have hit the Hippodrome.
What you get however is a very different affair. Andy Ford proves why repeat business speaks volumes. His Wishee Washee is a ball of camped up energy that brings the stage to life whenever he is on. He has the audience in the palm of his hands and every poor joke, bad pun and brushed aside innuendo is a delight and the audience craves more.
Other highlights include the coupling of Chris Thatcher’s Aladdin and Zoe George’s Princess Jasmine who both excel in their rôles, especially George given how underwritten her rôle is. They make for a great couple and sell their moments together with their inherent charm and ease in their rôles.
Graham Kent and David Roper serve their rôles of Widow Twankey and Abanazar well. Kent gets more audience ad lib time while it feels Roper either wanted to stick to the script or wasn’t given the freedom to enjoy being booed more.
The heroes of the show by a long shot are Flawless. Their ability to fill the vast stage with their moves is astonishing. Their charisma, energy and effortless choreography are jaw dropping to behold and a huge asset to the production. They are worth the ticket price alone.
In all, this is a show that harks back to a traditional family pantomime and is perfect for the whole family. Awful jokes, bad one liners and sugar coated happy endings. In a word – brilliant.
Runs until 6th January 2013.