CHILDREN and their parents will escape the summer heat and have a few laughs at Bendigo Theatre Company’s summer pantomime Aladdin.
Far from the Disney story or stage musical world of the Middle East, this English pantomime story of Aladdin takes place in the Far East with a number of oriental references.
Rather than an orphan living on the streets, Aladdin lives at a laundry with his brother and mother.
When he spies Princess Jasmin in the street one day he falls in love and becomes determined to marry her.
Along the way he gets caught up in the villainous Abanazar’s plans to retrieve a wondrous lamp.
Bendigo Theatre Company’s crew has created a strong set for the show with Aladdin’s laundry, Jasmin’s palace and the Cave of Wonders filling the stage.
Also filling the stage is a huge cast who is energetic, brightly costume and very talented.
Up-and-coming performers as young as 10 show their excellent talents in dance and song as well as good ability to take on the comedy side of the show.
Leading the cast is experienced performers Chris Emond and Maree Kennedy as the evil Abanazar and Aladdin’s mother, Lady Vanish.
Emond isn’t afraid to interact with the audience and encourage them to take part in the show as he works to recover the magic lamp.
Meanwhile, Kennedy encourages laughs as Aladdin’s mother and owner of a laundry that employs two ditzy assistants (played by Bronte Bailey and Madi Churchill).
Also impressive is Zach Fitzpatrick as Aladdin.
Though still a young performer, he as a great presence on stage and will get laughs from children in the audience.
Fitzpatrick plays a confident Aladdin who is rarely troubled by conniving villains. He is focused on love and knows he will get it.
Princess Jasmin, played by Liv Ryan, is accompanied by the her parents – the Emperor and Empress (played by Jordan French and Emily Holmes).
The trio are strong singers and do a great job of bringing energy to the group numbers that feature a mix of contemporary and classic pop songs.
Dancing in the show is well choerographed with a mix of tap, modern and ballet dancing included and wonderfully executed by younger members of the cast.
BTC’s production of Aladdin suits younger children and is an ideal holiday activity.
Aladdin is on at BTC’s Arts Shed in Allingham Street on January 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 and 29.
Visit www.bendigotheatrecompany.org for tickets or information.