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Review: Windsor panto dazzles in original show
Oh Windsor! How I have missed thee, let me count the ways. It would be fair to confess that after years of being a loyal Theatre Royal panto-goer, I started to stray.
Let’s just say the last production I saw there had the legendary Eric Sykes in it and you’ll catch my drift, but tonight after years adrift in the sea of not-so-memorable shows, I returned and thank Basil I did.
For during my cheating years, the team at the Theatre Royal seemed to have managed something other local establishments fail to do - create an original show not licensed by a mega-production company or featuring ‘surprise stars’ who actually only turn up via cinema screen.
No siree, in fact apart from the lovely Peter Duncan, who it turns out plays sinister wonderfully and Rosemary Shrager (who got a ‘who’s that?’ from my grandsons aged six and four), the only star as such was the wonderful Basil Brush.
Like Sooty, he hasn’t aged a bit and like the rest of the audience, young and old, I was yelling boom boom like I was eight again.
Aladdin was played by Giovanni Spano, a top rate actor and singer but not a big name yet. He is joined by Jasmine Cur as his wannabe wife Princess Jasmine, fabulous Kevin Cruise as Wishee Washee and Steven Blakeley as panto dame Widow Twankey.
This is Steven’s fifth consecutive panto season at Windsor. This year he excels not only as the unforgettable Dowager Dame of Detergents in his down town laundry but also as the gifted writer of a brilliant script and director of this unforgettable fast moving fun filled production.
For me the highlight was the showstopping ‘Round the World’ dance, which had all the audience up on its feet Irish dancing. Kevin Cruise was apparently a huge hit on Britain’s Got Talent and it’s easy to see why. Yet not one cast member stole the show more than another. It was a jolly, laugh-out-loud, boo-hiss, oh-yes-it-is family orientated traditional pantomime with a topical twist and top notch performances from all (including the stage manager).
Unfortunately the other BGT stars Twist and Pulse (Ashley Glazebrook and Glen Murphy) didn’t get to do much of the dancing they’re renowned for but there’s always the next time.
Yep, I’ve gone back to Windsor and I’ll say it again, thank Basil for that. I won’t be straying any time soon.
Aladdin will be playing until January 5. For more information go to www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk
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