This Aladdin can't be remotely controlled

12th December 1997 at 00:00
ALADDIN. His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen Until January 2. Box office: 01224 641122.

To my discerning young companion, raised on Uncle Walt's greatest, Aladdin the Panto was a bewildering departure from the video cartoon tale: "That's not Aladdin's mum! Who's Wishy Washy? Those silly policemen aren't on my video!" But the majority of youngsters at His Majesty's Theatre managed to overcome this modern Chinese puzzle and join the adults in a deafening appreciation of traditional panto panache.

We booed Abanazar the baddie - a devilish David Rintoul, who had ditched his Dr Finlay bedside manner for a wonderfully wicked sneer and teamed up with a glittering Vivien Heilbron (the Genie of the Ring), in search of the Magic Lamp.

We giggled and gasped at the antics of Wishy Washy, played by pantomime director Andy Gray, who by now is as familiar and cosy to Aberdeen panto fans as a mandarin's well-worn slipper.

We rooted for an energetic Aladdin (Blue Peter's Romana D'Annunzio, who managed to slip in the immortal Blue Peter catchphrase beloved of all well-organised primary teachers), and "his" beloved Princess Balroubadour, a glamorous Sophie Joyce.

And we howled at the misfortunes and mismatched outfits of the man-eating Widow Twanky (Adam Daye) and the hilarious slapstick scenes with Ping and Pong, ably delivered by Taggart's Colin McCredie and Billy McElhaney.

Much to the envy of most little girls in the audience, 16 young dancers from the Aberdeen Academy of Dance strutted their stuff magnificently alongside the adult professionals, and the cast's glittering costumes brought gasps of delight at every scene.

Unfortunately, the baddie was just too bad and the lively pop music a tad too loud for my little nephew attending his first pantomime. His indignation at realising that this particular Aladdin couldn't be controlled by remote control, became increasingly high-pitched.

Judy Mackie

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