Aladdin panto review

Wishee Washee and Abanazer in Aladdin, by Cave Players.
Wishee Washee and Abanazer in Aladdin, by Cave Players.


Cave Players

North Cave Village Hall

A year on from stepping into the principal role in pantoland at the eleventh hour, Hattie Sparke took on the lead in Aladdin for the Cave Players in her own right after September’s auditions.

She was joined ably on stage by Neil Harker’s Widow Twankey, and an excellent baddie in Pete Brotherton as Abanazer. Considering Neil had not joined for this role, he certainly seems at ease and full of life as the dame, though this year he did not have as much chance to go into the audience as Pete did.

No one gave me sweets anyway. I enjoyed Abanazer disrupting one of the duets between Aladdin and Widow Twankey.

The producer, Sharon Wood, mentioned in her programme notes about some new faces this time – the most notable this year being Kerry Dervey as Princess So-Shy.

I also felt this year that the sets deserved applause too, especially a brilliant cave full of riches and glittering illumination. Well done, Malcolm Clark and team.

It was a long run with seven performances at North Cave Village Hall, with the storyline of the villagers being taxed too heavily by the Emperor of Peking (Bill Watts).

I particularly liked a moment when Aladdin and Abanazer came into the audience as if it was part of the set, arguing as they came in search of something. It was right in front of me, anyway.

They are back in the Spring with their May Thing.