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Panto review: Aladdin, Cambridge Arts Theatre

PUBLISHED: 14:00 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:59 11 December 2018

The cast of Aladdin, this year's pantomime at the Cambridge Arts Theatre. Picture: CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE.

The cast of Aladdin, this year's pantomime at the Cambridge Arts Theatre. Picture: CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE.

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High jinks and hilarious dancing, Sarah Grosvenor reviews Aladdin

The cast of Aladdin, this year's pantomime at the Cambridge Arts Theatre. Picture: CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE.The cast of Aladdin, this year's pantomime at the Cambridge Arts Theatre. Picture: CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE.

Featuring a tap dancing villain, Gordon the Monkey and some Abba favourites, another great pantomime has arrived in Cambridge and I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to view.

Writer Al Morley recently left Cambridge Arts Theatre where he worked in marketing to pursue a writing career, so his return to the theatre with Aladdin is particularly sweet - and if this script is anything to go by he has a great career ahead of him.

Holly Easterbrook made a return to the Arts as Aladdin and among the high jinks, particularly involving Aladdin’s mum, Widow Twanky, played by Matt Crosby, her acting and vocals shone through. Matt is a seasoned dame at the Arts returning year after year and long may it continue. He had the audience in stitches with his laundry scene also involving Wishy Washy, played by Max Fulham.

There were renditions of Baby Shark and Dancing Queen to which hilarious dancing ensued while among the jokes Brexit was a favourite. Gordon the Monkey proved popular with all ages with his naughty wit (thanks to puppetry skills from Max Fulham).

The biggest name on the bill, Wayne Sleep gave a brilliant performance as the villain Abanezer and has lost none of his dancing skills with some amazing tap dancing routines. Andy Abraham (X factor) with his powerful voice made a suitably booming genie.

Tongue in cheek one-liners, amazing costumes, dancing, singing and feel good humour - this year’s Arts panto could well be the best yet.

Aladdin, directed by Phil Clark and written by Al Morley, is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until January 6. Box office: 01223 503333

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