Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Amazing Adventures of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp

Cumbernauld Theatre
Four stars
“Don't go messing with cosmos,” says the operator of a celestial
helpline to big bad Abanazer in Tony Cownie's pocket-sized take on this
most magical of pantomime favourites, “or the cosmos will mess with
you.” This is something Abanazer eventually learns to his cost  as he
manipulates peasant boy Aladdin into leading him to the magic lamp and
the genie that will sate his greed. Lovestruck Aladdin, meanwhile, has
his sights set on the beautiful Princess Jasmine, even if it means
trampolining his way over the palace walls with his best pal Karif to
get her.

A bored king is the initial impetus for the yarn to unravel, as his
loyal subjects scramble around in desperation to find one more story to
keep him interested. Only when the oldest and wisest member of the
tribe lays bare a tale closer to his heart than he lets on does the
gang leap into the dressing up box to act it out. As dramaturged by Ed
Robson and Roderick Stewart, this makes the most of a small is
beautiful aesthetic, with just five actors performing an array of roles.

These range from James Anthony Pearson's dashing Aladdin and Jayd
Johnson's Jasmine to Steven McNicoll's wicked Abanazar. Laughs are
provided by Nicky Elliot, who doubles up as Karif and Jasmine's fashion
victim father, while Angela Darcy flits between a gallus window
cleaning Twanky
and the wee genie who is finally freed from her lamp. All of this keeps
a young audience in fine voice, while a touching epilogue hints that
Aladdin's life might not have been such a fairytale after all.

The Herald, December 8th 2014


ends

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