Last night was press night for the Birmingham Hippodrome’s 2015 panto – Aladdin*! I took the boyfriend’s mum along with me for an evening of ‘oh no you don’t’s’ and ‘he’s behind you’s’ – with bigs names such as Julian Clary, Marti Pellow and Lee Mead and a stage that looked like that we knew we were in for a seriously professional evening of festive fun.
The show opened with a bang (and a giant talking gorilla!) as we find our baddy Abanazar played by Marti Pellow attempting to get his hands on a magical lamp. The Hippodrome’s Aladdin is set in China and although a little geographically confusing was full of all the usual naughty jokes and slapstick comedy for the kids and adults alike. With incredible costumes, insane animatronics and a seriously good set there was no expense spared at the hippodrome this year!
Bursting with colour, great songs and traditionally over the top acting from the cast it was an explosive evening with some west-end worthy effects. We had flying carpets, giant cobras and some of the best 3D I’ve ever seen – it was pretty epic! Ignoring the dodgy accents and geographical and cultural inconsistencies it was such an enjoyable evening that kept the entire audience engaged and cheering along throughout – it’s panto but panto times a million!
We caught up with Andrew Ryan and Emily Shaw after the show to talk about what it’s like to be in panto at such an iconic theatre. Ryan has some pretty impressive drag makeup during the show – his secret for taking it all off? Face oils to leave his skin glowing after being hidden under all that paint for two hours a night! And those impressive wigs are moulded to his head to ensure they don’t budge during the show – how cool is that?!
Emily Shaw who plays Princess Jasmine told us this show was her parents favourite she’s ever done! Emily also let slip she’d love to play Glinda in Wicked one day or star in a period drama like Downton – we think you’d be great Emily and you certainly kept us entertained as Princess J!
If you’re looking for a panto that’s packed to the rafters with crazy effects, big voices and lots of fun then Aladdin at the Birmingham Hippodrome is your show!
Aladdin is showing until Sunday the 31st January 2016 and you can grab your tickets from the box office here!
Have you seen any panto this year? Which has been your favourite?