Tewkesbury’s Roses Theatre has Aladdin as their Panto running until Saturday 4th January 2020. Prices range from fifteen to twenty-five pounds. This year is sponsored by local solicitors Thomson & Bancks. I was invited along for Press night. The following will contain spoilers.
Aladdin at The Roses Theatre Similarities Now and Then
Aladdin was actually the first Panto my family watched together back at The Roses Theatre 2012 which started off our love of the family Pantomime. There are some similarities between then and now:
- Still written and directed by Ben Crocker – with a great script, which gets excellent audience participation (including getting us all to stand up, boo, cheer and shout; children being brought up on stage), comedy and one-liners reflecting the current times;
- The same great musical director Andy Allpass and Steve Crickett on percussion (actually for his twenty-fifth year!);
- Amazing singing and great choreography (including talented youngsters who make up the chorus -we all love recognising children we know appearing on stage);
- Cast including the villain we love to hate Abanazar (or-have-a-banana) ; comedy duo Widow Twankey (of course the tradition of a man dressed as a woman) and Wishee-Washee The Genie of the Lamp and The Genie of the Ring; and of course Princess Jasmine and Aladdin themselves;
- Acknowledgements as to who is in the audience and Birthday announcements;
- And Amazing costumes – that are changed so quickly.
Review of Aladdin at The Roses Theatre 2019
This year’s panto of Aladdin at The Roses Theatre delivered once again. We have visited the panto at The Roses for years (Aladdin (2012), Jack and the Beanstalk (2013), Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood (2016), Sleeping Beauty (2017) and Dick Whittington (2018) and have always been impressed. I think the fact that our sixteen year old son wanted to attend a Friday night Panto (when he could be home alone playing computer games) speaks volumes as to how good it is. Indeed one of my highlights was watching his face light up as he laughed at yet another one of Ben Eagle’s gags.
I absolutely love The Roses Theatre for how much of a community feel it has but this year they really out-did themselves with the opening being a video which includes the local own and shops. Of course local children are auditioned for the Chorus and this year it was beautiful to see that they appeared on stage regularly and often. The real highlight of the panto for our visit was when they invite children from the audience on to the stage. It was five year old Nancy who stole the show when asked by Widow Twankey (Ben Eagle) who she was going to vote for next week – and without hesitation replied Jeremy Corbyn: In an area with such a safe Conservative seat too – and the crowd cheered.
Of course Aladdin has all the usual Panto amazing-ness we have come to expect from The Roses Theatre but this year there was also new comfy seats, UV effects and a puppet (possibly ventriloquism). I was pleased to see that the children’s goody bags (for those who are invited on stage) did not have a balloon attached to them this year (they are, in my opinion, just unnecessary and will end up in landfill). I was also pleased to see the Genie of the Lamp in proper stilettos (we have watched many panto this season and they all seem to have switched to chunky heels).
Three Wishes at The Roses Theatre Tewkesbury
The Roses Theatre wish to make some hugely positive changes to help support the community this includes launching a children’s theatre. They have three wishes which they asking for support with:
The last 3 years their Youth Theatre has had no budget to put on its main annual show, therefore they would like to change that and give the young people a chance to experience The Roses’ stage in all its glory. They are also looking to support 5 bursary places for children from families in the low income bracket.
Amount needed £5,000
New lights! Some of the lights are from the 1980s and are in need of a massive upgrade but also make an enormous 85% saving on electricity, making them far more sustainable.
Amount needed £5,000
A complete overhaul of the website, signage and digital marketing. This will be developed in collaboration with young people across the town and create a £5 ticket access scheme for under 25s.
Amount needed £7,000
How to Donate to The Roses Theatre Tewksbury Three Wishes
- Phone: 01684 295074
- Online: www.rosestheatre.org/support
- Or in person at the theatre