Have you seen Aladdin? A lad in what?

20th December 2002 at 00:00
Villains, heroes, beauties and dames have been entertaining pupils with pantomime slapstick. Here are their reviews

The Happy Prince Tall Stories Theatre Company MacRobert Arts Centre, Stirling University until December 29 tel 01786 461081

In The Happy Prince there were happy bits and sad bits. Some of the characters were puppets. The part we liked best was when the little boy chased the swallow.

The saddest part was when the swallow took the Happy Prince's eye. The funniest part was the funny lion singing. Our favourite bit was when the boy and the girl were happy because they had a jewel for buying stuff.

It was strange because there were two stories going on at the same time. There was a man whose cloak was made of paper gold and gold stuff came down from the air.

P2 pupils, Dunblane Primary, Stirling A Christmas Carol Wee Stories Theatre Company MacRobert Arts Centre, Stirling University until January 4 tel 01786 461081

The pantomime was very well done and went by the book for much of the time, although Scrooge's nephew was replaced by a niece.

The prop removal system was very professional as they dropped the curtain and turned off the lights. The lighting was quite scary and the moon that was shown was good. The clothes were very like what Victorians wore.

One favourite bit was when they started dancing: it was very funny and tummy twitching, dramatic. The graveyard was very spooky and the silence in it was very effective.

P6 pupils, Lochgilphead Primary, Argyll and Bute Sleeping Beauty Eden Court Theatre, Inverness until January 4 tel 01463 221718

Preparations were being made for Sleeping Beauty's christening and invitations were being sent out. Among them were the grand fairy Azuriel and her two sisters, the gold and silver fairies. The three fairies were to bless Sleeping Beauty with their gifts.

Azuriel did not get to place her gift before Caraboss, the evil witch, had entered and gave a gift of her own. Before Sleeping Beauty's 18th birthday she would prick her finger on a spindle and die. The witch then made her exit. Azuriel could not stop it from happening but with true love's kiss Sleeping Beauty would instead awake from a deep sleep.

It did not take long for the backgrounds to change and the lighting was excellent. There was always the right colour for the actors, like green for the witch. The actors wore the right costumes; you could tell if they were funny, bad or silly.

The funniest moment was when Nelly the nanny from Nairn and Jingles the jester tried to bake. They chased a rat round and round, then Jingles's trousers fell down and on his pants was written "Mind the gap". Everyone laughed.

Everyone should go because it is the best pantomime ever.

P6 and P7 pupils, Brora Primary, Sutherland, Highland Aladdin His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen until January 5 tel 01224 631122

The pantomime was about a boy called Aladdin who got tricked by a man who said he was his uncle Abanazar. He knew about a magic lamp in a cave that held a genie.

A magic spell could make the door of the secret cave open and the magic word was Niddala (Aladdin backwards). This can only be whispered because it is so powerful!

The cave that Aladdin goes into was very well laid out and decorative. It was amazing how the scenes were changed and the rock was moved from the cave entrance.

The gymnastics performed by the policemen were fast moving, hilarious and daring. Some were even scary because the other policemen took away the crash mat! The best stunt was when the head policeman did a somersault and landed with the mat between his legs. The other one was when he moved the vaulting horse and one of the other policemen jumped and missed it.

There were lots of funny bits, like when the king fancied Aladdin's Mum and he said: "Your teeth are like the stars", and she said: "I know. They come out at night!"

The pantomime was very good but they missed quite a lot of things out, such as showing how Aladdin got away from being executed.

P4-P7 pupils, Strathdon Primary, Aberdeenshire Aladdin The King's Theatre, Glasgow until January 18 tel 0141 240 1111

Aladdin starts when evil Abanazar, who wants to be rich, decides to use a genie in a dark cave but only a mischievous boy called Aladdin can get the genie from the lamp.

His mum is called Widow Twanky, who works in a launderette, and his brother is Wishee Washee. Jasmine is the emperor's daughter and Aladdin loved her but he could not look at her or the emperor would behead him!

Something really fun was when you had to shout where Penelope the Panda was. This bit was the best because it was great having to shout as loud as you could!

Elaine C Smith played Widow Twanky and made a joke about David Seaman. He was meant to be in the show but he was used to people shouting "It's behind you."

The best characters were Captain What and Sergeant Right because they were extremely comical.

Some of the scenery was quite cheesy but some was quite good. The lighting was quite cool, especially when Aladdin and Jasmine were on the magic carpet together.

P7 pupils, Mount Vernon Primary, Glasgow Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs King's Theatre, Edinburgh until January 19 tel 0131 529 6000

This traditional fairytale makes a great story for a pantomime. Allan Stewart as Nurse May (Snow White's nanny) makes such a good job of playing a female part that some children believe he actually is a woman.

The Queen's servant, McTavish, played by Andy Gray, is very funny. The scene where Gray and Stewart play around with the word "fur" is especially good.

When Briony McRoberts appears as the wicked queen, the place erupts in a barrage of boos and hisses, which at one point threatens to overtake the show. Grant Stott plays the Prince. Every time he walks on stage, bagpipes play, which really annoys the Queen. Lisa Baird is Snow White, who has a beautiful voice, which she uses well singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". An unusual touch is the violin-playing Spirit of the Mirror, played by the talented Fiona Brice. The funniest dwarf is played by Erwin Leernaets, who whizzes across the stage on bikes and roller-skates only to crash at the other side.

The scenery suits the mood of the show, which has an almost magical feel about it, different from the traditional panto. The special effects are amazing, especially the light show.

P7 pupils, Drumbrae Primary, Edinburgh Alice in Wonderland Hopscotch Theatre Company touring until January 17 tel 0141 440 2025

The story of Alice in Wonderland is a classic, so many people knew the original. We recognised the storyline right away but it was quite different from the book and the film.

The actors were brilliant at involving the audience. There were only four of them but they were good at playing different characters. A favourite was Alice because although she was a goody-two-shoes she had a naughty side.

They didn't have to stop to change the scenery. The characters cleverly changed it as part of the story. It was really good the way the flowers could stick their heads through a hole and the stems were painted below and the way the caterpillar was a lady and a mask.

They also used props cleverly. When Alice shrank she drank from a small bottle. Then they used a huge bottle to make it look like Alice was small. The best costume was the Mad Hatter's. He had a giant teacup on his head as a hat.

We would have liked a few more twists in the story. It was probably more suitable for children younger than us.

P7 pupils, Touch Primary, Dunfermline, Fife Beauty and the Beast Mamp;M Productions touring until late February tel 01292 618500

When we first went in to see Beauty and the Beast, Mamp;M Productions was playing some good music. The characters sang lots of songs, like "The Tide is High" and "Reach". The whole school enjoyed singing along and clapping their hands.

The first character who appeared on stage was the old witch. She was wearing a purple coat and had a walking stick. Her voice was croaky and she asked us to say: "Alakazam, Alakazoo. Take us into the village the knoo."

When everyone had said it, we were in the village. Then Gaston and Gormless appeared.

Gormless and Lumiere were really funny because Lumiere had a French accent and Gormless was totally mad. Belle had a dog called Scamper and it was spotty. We liked the beast, how he danced and when he turned back to human.

The performance was absolutely hilarious and extremely good fun and the beast was a bit of top totty.

P7 pupils, St Ninian's Primary, Dumfries

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?

Subscribe

To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today