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REVIEWS

Nov 26, 2021
Theatre and Tonic

"truly magical"

definitely one of the best pantomimes I have seen

Loughborough's annual pantomime is back this Christmas! For a few years now the pantomime at the Loughborough Town Hall has a high reputation for putting on one of the most popular shows in Leicestershire.

This year they're performing Aladdin with many of the household names for Loughborough Town Hall's pantomime returning and it's certain to bring back audiences to this much-loved tradition around the festive season.

This pantomime executes the hard work that goes on behind the scenes from Little Wolf Entertainment. The experts ensure there is enough modern and local reference in their script that is relatable for their audiences, it knows how to appeal to all age ranges equally.

We travel to the well-known town of Shangri-La where we meet Abanazar, utterly ruthless in the way he is seeking someone gullible enough to help him retrieve his lost magic lamp from a cave. Lucky for him, Aladdin (Kristian Cunningham) is desperate to get to know his "long lost uncle" and helps him unknowingly in the conquest. After all, Aladdin hasn't long met Princess Amirah (Darcy Manning) and wants to impress her. In the cave he stumbles upon a lamp, grants a few wishes and of course, the rest is history..

The story for this pantomime is very easy to follow along, jam-packed with lots of great jokes, eccentric costumes and strong visual effects (one which particularly gives the wow factor!). It was definitely one of the best pantomimes I have seen in the Loughborough Town Hall, yet!

Loughborough's iconic panto duo are back again. Fresh from his win at the Great British Pantomime Awards, the UK's reigning 'best dame' James Peake steps into the shoes of Widow Twankey. Alongside Kristian Cunningham as Aladdin. You are in safe hands with this pair, although it does result in a lot of mayhem. Their natural comedy-duo relationship has really established itself in this production as they continue to bounce off one another like they've been doing it for years. Peake and Cunningham again have Loughborough audiences in the palm of their hands. Cunningham has the natural ability of a leading man with his brilliant vocal ability and fluid dance movement whilst Peake knows how to put on an unforgettable show.

Back for another dose of pantomime in Loughborough is also Great British Pantomime 'best newcomer' award winner Ella-Jane Thomas. This time she has her work cut out as she transports through not one but THREE roles every performance. Thomas is naturally funny and manages to execute the differences between her characters well. There's also plenty of new faces to this production and they fit within the dynamic and reputation that pantomimes in the Loughborough Town Hall have.

As a whole, this casting is incredibly strong and will certainly receive a whole host of love and praise during the festive run. The standard of pantomimes here is getting stronger every year, particularly through the execution of Danielle Stanley's choreography by a company of young local performers. Their talent and enthusiasm really elevates the finishing touches to Aladdin and is in fact one of the very few in the country to include a company of local talent.

This was something truly magical and every little detail has been constructed to create the perfect family pantomime. It was the welcome back to this tradition that we were certainly in need of after the last couple of years. You are going to have lots of fun by watching Aladdin and so much of it will have you dancing in your seats. It's the perfect occasion to get your loved ones together so go and book your ticket!

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