Pantomime 1999 at the Lane End Players was Aladdin, another great success and loved by the audiences
In 1999 it was Eve Berry who took on the role of pantomime director/producer and this years choice was Aladdin, a classic tale which translates so well to the pantomime theme. All of the classic characters were there including Aladdin himself, Wishy Washy, Widow Twanky and The Genie. This was yet another showing of the LEP's skill when it comes to producing a brilliant pantomime.
Abanazar - Dave Bowden
The Slave of the Ring - Jayne Potter
Aladdin - Tracy Perkins
Wid O'Twankey - Lou Jackson
Wishee Washee - Nigel Bacon
The Grand Vizier - Roy Behnke
The Emperor Chow Mein - Bob Connor
Princess Jasmine - Libby Beck
So-Shy - Tash Berry
Sing-Hi - Pip Stacey
The Genie of the Lamp - Nick Wyse
"Lively Aladdin entertains"
(Bucks Free Press review by Rita Carpenter)
The show commenced with a lively and colourful scene. The costumes were bright and varied. Tracy Perkins made a worthy principal and Princess Jasmine played by Libby Beck a gentle foil for the strong character of Aladdin. Bob Connor bought a different aspect to the character of The Emperor Chow Mein with his petulant portrayal. Abanazar played by Dave Bowden had the audience booing and hissing but I felt he could have been a little more menacing.
There were an amazing number of scene changes all efficiently effected. I particularly liked the use of the auditorium by some of the characters to detract from the scene changes. The scene in the pleasure gardens with everyone carrying Chinese lanterns and a dragon prancing around in the audience was used to good effect. The scene I liked best was in Abanazar's pyramid with some excellent singing and impressive harmonies.
The lighting and sound were very effective and the musicians under the direction of Sue Hawkes who played the piano, Vic Berry on synthesizer and Raymond Medhurst on percussion kept the show swinging along.
A special accolade for the dynamic duo Wid O'Twankey played by Lou Jackson, Aladdin's mother a very funny Irish dame and the amazingly energetic and versatile Nigel Bacon as Wishee Washee. The complemented each other's performance to perfection and the ad-libbing was highly professional.
I was disappointed by the lack of dancing in the show as most pantomimes have at least one or two good dance sequences and with tighter direction the show could have been a little shorter, but on the whole it was an enjoyable performance and in spite of the atrocious weather it was well supported by a very appreciative audience.
I look forward to attending future productions by the Lane End Players.
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