Oh Yes It Is! Why you should make the trip for Panto to Worthing by Craig Hanlon-Smith.
THE FLOOD of Pantomimes on offer at this time of year can sometimes leave me petitioning to the national council for theatrical quality control – were such a think tank to exist. My first referral would be to The Connaught Theatre in Worthing for the current PHA production of Aladdin to show the world of Pantomime exactly how it should be done, as this is a benchmark production that all others should seek to aspire to.
With an appropriate cast cake-mix of local talent from the Heart Radio breakfast team to The Brighton Belle, Lola Lasagne – here Stephen Richards takes on the role of Widow Twankey, experienced professional actors, dancers alongside local children and a suitable starry draw in S-Club-7’s Jon Lee, himself a seasoned West End Wendy, you won’t find a tighter, more energetic fun filled seasonal night out anywhere across this our green and pleasant land.
From the off the ensemble deliver a show that is faithful to its Aladdin-lite plot line but still packed full of chart-topping crowd-pleasers reimagined as West-End set pieces adults and children alike cannot fail to be out of their seats to whether Reach-ing for the stars! Or bouncing in the aisle to a cracking Car Wash which opens the second half.
Of course it’s packed full of groan-worthy ancient gags but even these are knocked into the audience park with such polished panache that we in the audience are happy, nay thrilled to be taken along for the ride.
What PHA in Worthing at have managed to nurture is a company who clearly love what they’re doing but with an absolute commitment to its audience as that vital component who without, let’s face it, you’re screwed.
Accompanied by two not-uncritical under 10 year olds, we had a blast from start to finish and I for one at a fine 42 shall be returning with my coachload of adult friends. It’s great. Oh yes it is.
For best availability request dates after Christmas and in January.
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