Glitter, a flying carpet and plenty of giggles can be found at Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne as the cast of Aladdin deliver a spectacular pantomime performance during the festive season.
The team includes former EastEnders star Shaun Williamson who takes on the role of baddie Abanazaar and also sees the return of local funny man Tucker who plays Wishee-Washee.
The pair do a great job in getting the audience involved as the story unfolds with Abanazaar receiving plenty of boos from both the young and old.
Williamson portrays the sneering Abanazaar to a tee, while popular Wishee-Washee delivers a number of wise cracks throughout the show.
The story follows laundry boy Aladdin (played by West End star Charlene Ford) as he falls in love with Princess So-Shi (Lucie Downer) and seeks approval from her stern father the Emperor (Richard Pocock).
The pantomime makes its own mark on the traditional Aladdin storyline with two genies instead of one and plenty of modern songs performed with the lyrics adapted to tell the story.
Ford plays Aladdin with the right amount of energy and charm as he heads off from the laundry run by his mother Widow Twankey – delivered brilliantly and in some truly wacky outfits by Martyn Knight – with his long lost ‘uncle’ Abanazaar in search of jewels to impress the Emperor.
However, the journey descends into chaos as all-devious Abanazaar really wants is the lamp.
Cue Genie of the Lamp (CG Fraser) who steals the show with his hilarious performance, quirky dance moves and colourful outfits as he helps Aladdin win the heart of Princess So-Shi.
However, things are not set to run smoothly and Genie of the Ring (played in a range of glitzy and colourful outfits by Hannah Levane) is also needed to help the happy couple finally be together.
Ford and Downer do a great job in involving the audience along the way and also show off their spectacular vocal skills during some heart-warming scenes.
The show provides plenty of laughs, brilliant and fun dances throughout, courtesy of choreographer Sam Spencer Lane, and some great effects and scenery with the flying carpet and cave scene very worthy of mention.
The panto, written and directed by Chris Jordan, was described by my guest for the evening – 11-year-old Jazmin – as ‘amazing’, with ‘plenty of sing-along songs’.
For me it bought back childhood memories of going to the theatre and was great fun for both the young and old.
The pantomime runs until January 12. For full details of performances, times and prices call the box office on 01323 412000 or log on to: www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk