• Theatre
  • West End
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© Peter Schiazza

A word to the wise: if your local theatre gets dealt 'Aladdin' next Christmas, look further afield. It so lacks a story that all the glitter and 'Gangnam Style' in London can't compensate for.

Essentially it runs thus: Get lamp. Get rich. Get princess. Lose all three. Get them back. Go home. Its denouement boils down to the villain tripping up. Director Christopher Dunham, whose 'Cinderella' of last year had heart beneath its sparkle, can only resort to song, dance and spectacle to pad it out like a dame's bra. It's a classic case of shouting to ensure attention – and shout it does, the decibel levels are deafening – rather than simply being interesting.

The stars themselves are a let-down. Suzanne Shaw and Helena Dowling are bland as Genie and Jasmine, while Tim Vine – back by popular demand, though not, it appeared, his own volition – phones it in. His pun-slinging Wishee Washee proves an oddly cynical turn, constantly undercutting proceedings. Come back, Gary Wilmot, all is forgiven.

Fortunately, Graham Hoadly is a spirited dame and Gareth Leighton's Aladdin, possibly airlifted in from a One Direction tribute band, keeps things front-footed. As with last year, though, sneering references to poorer boroughs leave a bitter aftertaste. Come on, Richmond. It's beneath you

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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1 person listening

Great show. Our party of children loved it. Got to agree about the references to other boroughs - unnecessary and quite unkind. Stand out performances from Tim Vine and the Dame. Great costumes and sets.


Just fantastic! This deserves ten stars! We laughed as much as the kids - the characters, performances and set were brilliant with Tim Vine being the stand out performance of the night. Roll on panto 2013!


Fantastic show - reviewer is totally wrong - Everyone is great - very much an ensemble piece. Costumes are amazing.


Reviewer is wrong, wrong, wrong. My children loved it and the adults in our group found it very entertaining, do agree that the Dame was the best but Tim Vine was a close second.


The reviewer is simply wrong - and clearly doesn't understand the point of panto. Richmond's Aladdin is very good indeed. Where we agree is the Dame is simply awesome. A true 'clown' in the spirit of theatre and worth the price of admission