We must admit to having a real soft spot for St Helens Theatre Royal. As someone who is passionate about getting kids in through the theatre doors we feel it is vital to produce fun and fast paced shows which grab and keep their attention in the local community reaching families who might not normally attend shows further afield.
Theatre Royal has been doing panto for years and boy do they do it well!
As always Liam Mellor’s script is clever and fast with a splash of songs old and new to get people up and on their feet. They don’t scrimp on the staging either and Aladdin produced an explosion of colour, sparkle and special effects on par with many larger theatre productions.
David Heath puts in a solid performance as Aladdin but stealing the show was The Only Way is Essex star Harry Derbidge who was surprisingly brilliant as PC Noodle. His exuberant and delightfully camp personality shines in panto and he really could have found his calling here, he gave it his all and it showed.
There were of course plenty of Towie jokes between Derbidge and Towie co star Amy Childs who looked stunning as the Slave of the Ring. Panto season can be fierce and to do it while pregnant too must be exhausting! But she does a fabulous job.
Warren Donnelly played the evil Abanazar with a wicked ease and certainly filled the auditorium with the expected jeers and boo’s each time he appeared.
We love Simon Foster, he never lets a show down as the resident Dame and this time was no different. It takes skill to hold the demand of an audience full of excited school children and adults alike and Foster as Widdow Twankey was brilliantly funny as always.
Aladdin is cheesy, over the top and slightly bonkers but that’s what makes panto at its best. If you are looking for some festive fun to kick off the Christmas holidays go see it!
Aladdin runs until the 8th January.
For information visit the theatre website