Review of Christmas pantomime Aladdin at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln from December 8 to January 7, starring Strictly Come Dancing’s Ian Waite, Olympic gymnast Louis Smith and West End actor Roger Wright
It was non stop laughs in what is perhaps the most enjoyable panto of the year — Aladdin at the New Theatre Royal, Lincoln
The festive season is in full swing, but it Christmas wouldn’t complete without a trip to the pantomime, and this year’s production in Lincoln certainly delivers.
The classic tale of Aladdin has everything we’ve come expect, from the genie and the romance, to the evil villain and even the magic carpet, but by no means is it boring.
Setting the scene in Morocco, our hero Aladdin is determined to find his true love and thinks he has found her in Princess Jasmine.
Little does he know the evil Abanazar has plans to use him to get their hands on the magic lamp and the genie kept within, able to grant wishes.
Hilarity ensues in classic pantomime fashion and never have I heard such a loud panto crowd.
The comedy came courtesy of this panto’s Buttons-esque character, Chip, whose slapstick humour and audience interaction had children rolling in their seats with laughter, and a particularly rude Dame Ginger Spice, who has more than enough innuendos in her arsenal to give the Carry On films a run for their money.
Making his pantomime debut, Olympic gymnast Louis Smith looked as if he was having the time of his life as this production’s brilliant baddie.
Louis was devilishly good, with no signs of inexperience. You’ll love to boo him, even though his comedic covers of Eminem’s greatest hits are excellent.
Roger Wright is nothing short of spectacular in his role as the Genie of The Lamp.
Clearly accustomed to treading the boards in the West End, he brought all of his vocal range and experience from productions such as the Lion King and Jesus Christ Superstar to the role — belting out musical numbers so captivatingly he stole the show whenever he appeared on stage.
As always panto thrives off being relatable and making references to the modern world — including Abanazar’s ‘legally distinct’ AI assistant, Sirina of The Ring, who offered an evil and hilarious counterpart the The Genie.
Strictly legend, Ian Waite also made his return to Lincoln after becoming an audience favourite as the Fairy Godmother in last year’s production of Cinderella.
He is very enjoyable as the Sultan Cha-Cha-Cha, swanning about with his sparkling outfits and flamboyant headdresses, and even got his chance to show of a few dance moves.
But so much credit should go to the production team who clearly put a lot of love and effort into designing the creative and quirky sets and costumes.
Over all I had a lot of fun with this show and at time unexpectedly found myself feeling like a child again; shouting come backs, joining in with the singing and finding it impossible to keep a straight face.
It was everything I could have wished for in a panto. So if you’re looking for a night of fabulous festive entertainment, with just as much fun for the adults as the little-ones, then look no further than Aladdin. — FB
Aladdin at the New Theatre Royal, Lincoln, is running until January 7, 2024.