He wrote the show, he stars in the show, he re-wrote songs for the show, he directed the show. Joshua Thompson is a force to be reckoned with, make no bones about it; his debut at Adult Panto directing was met with aplomb and plenty of laughs. Luton based amateur theatre group The Griffin Players presented Aladdin the Adult Pantomime at Luton Library Theatre and it is well worth the visit to see it.
Ably supported by a solid and cohesive cast who had their fingers up to their elbows in all the various pies they were eating, Thompson managed to bring humour and current themes, Megixt and Trump being a couple of key puns to look out for, to the forefront. Katy Elliott as Fairy Godmother had perhaps the hardest role; to set the tone and ambience for the show, to egg on the audience and to inject a sense of frivolity to the role. Brava, lady, you achieved it in abundance. Jordan Barnes and Nico Bamford as the comedic duo managed each other very well, their lines flowing in sync. In particular Bamford matured into his role as the panto progressed, managing to break the fourth wall very well.
A further nod should be given to Aladdin Anna Woods and Jasmine Bianca Lupescu who mirrored each other to perfection. Chloe Whitney paid anal attention to her First Dates outing, showcasing her skills which could have been utilised more frequently. The standout performances, however, were Deborah Cheshire as the Jeanie and Ben Jaggers as The Grand Vizer. Cheshire had a touch of a Catherine Tate's Nan about her and this shone through in her interpretation. Jaggers, the baddie of the piece showcased just how much of a goodie he is in character. A special mention should go to Jo Herd as choreographer, Izzy Wheeler for the fantastic costumes and James Driver for the musicality.
For all the big boys and girls, Aladdin has plenty of laughs, sh*ts, and giggles. In fact, there was a monologue on sh*t that is so well done, that it could sit easily in a West End theatre. I look forward to seeing what Thompson turns his hand to next, he is somewhat of a genius.
It runs It runs 23-25 Jan and 30 Jan - 1st Feb.
Review: Kay Johal