Monday night Savannah, hubby and I were invited along to the press night of Aladdin at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford. This is a fabulous theatre and seats up to 1000 guests, which were all full on the night. The theatre puts on some fabulous shows so we were excited to see the Christmas pantomime.
As soon as we arrived there was a real buzz in the air, the theatre was full to the brim with children, all with there sparkling light up toys, sweets and smiles.
The panto this year was Aladdin, I must admit I got a little confused as they had made changes to the traditional storyline. In this version, they have a magic ring and lamp. I also thought it was very grown up for kids with a lot of scary parts. They also have a character Scheherazade which I wasn’t sure they needed (the actress was fab but not really a huge role & no real reason for the character) saying that the show's cast are really enthusiastic and very strong, Wet Wet Wet’s Marti Pellow plays the lead baddy Albanazar alongside the fabulous Ricky K (Britain’s got talent) who honestly carries the show with his fast and clever wit, he really does steal the show. David Robbins who plays Widow Twanky is wonderful and everything you want in a Twanky. His costumes are incredible and I believe he makes and designs them all including some gorgeous wigs. His gags and Dane moves really are hilarious and the two of them working together really gel well. My favourite of Twankys costs has to superwomen (I won’t spoil it for you but it’s fab)
The panto is Directed by the very lovely Thom Southerland who has previously directed shows such as Titanic & Mack Mabel which also have had big casts so he’s used to having to know how to direct them and use the stage well. The younger casts members are super cute and made me want Savannah to start classes so she could be up on that stage soon!
The second half was fab and there was lots of audience participation which we loved. Savannah stood most of the second half dancing and singing along. Then she jumped on my lap and hid when the 3D part happened and hasn’t stopped talking about him since. Saying how brave she was and how huge the gorilla was! The show is scary and I don’t want to put anyone off as it’s a fab show, I just think it would help parents to prepare the children as you don’t want to pay all that money and then have to leave halfway through. Savannah managed the whole show and only had a little wobble when we were leaving because she was shattered but all in all we were very lucky and she was very brave.
The show really gets you in the mood for Christmas, the only thing I would say is if you are going to take any kids under 6 years old or you know they are a little jumpy, is to just ask the ushers when the gorilla and snakes arrive so you have a heads up with being able to prepare the little ones. We had been warned about this so we made sure Savannah didn’t wear the glasses. I'm really glad she didn’t as she was sat under a blanket even without the glasses.
The best part of the show for me and I think my hubby will agree was when Wishi and Twankey sang the song panto and we all had to join in. This just took me back to when I was little and used to see a panto every year and this really is what pantos all about. I love panto and think it’s a fab way to introduce little ones to the theatre, without them having to sit still and be quiet for hours on end.
Feeling super excited for Christmas now!
The Panto is on until the 30th December 2018, so grab your tickets as it really did get us in the festive mood!
The Savvy Mummy xxx