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Christian Patterson

An Imagine Theatre production

Venue Cymru, Llandudno

December 11, 2021-January 2. 2022; 2hrs

New-to-Llandudno panto producers Imagine Theatre promised us a magical, spectacular, exciting production with great music and big laughs. Do they disappoint?

Not at all – this is a fun family night out that holds your attention throughout.

There was an element of expectation after the venue missed out on panto last year, and the cast certainly delivers a couple of years worth of pent-up energy.

This Aladdin is an unashamedly traditional panto with all the expected elements – including an abundance of fart jokes. Unlike some pantomimes there is a good story, and Christian Patterson’s’ script is well crafted, allowing the cast some freedom to ad-lib as well as engage in scenes with clever use of language.

John Evans’s Wishee Washee steals the show with some nice stand-up slots that had many in the audience in fits of laughter (though I wish he didn’t laugh at his own jokes). He is ably-supported by a strong cast, including Eric Potts (one of the best dames in the business), and Jason Marc-Williams as the villainous Abanazar.

There is a variety of music, plenty of pace and a good balance between storytelling, music and comedy. There’s even a bit of schmaltz, and while I groaned when a Lionel Ritchie song rang out, it quickly turned into a fine comedy routine – the best set-piece of the evening.

Rachel Sargent’s choreography is excellent, with the ensemble - no children in the chorus this year - taking a prominent role with elegance and energy.

The finale has a nice touch, with the entire audience invited to photograph the wedding tableau (a precursor to a plea to everyone to then upload the images to social media, tagging all and sundry and boosting the show’s online presence – a nice, not too pushy mix of show-fun and free marketing.

But then the show deserves any the attention it gets: it’s fine, warm-hearted family entertainment that sends you out smiling into a cold Welsh night.

More information and tickets here


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