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A standing ovation at Crewkerne for CUDOS’s Aladdin

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January 26 2020, Cinderella Trophy Reviews

Just when you thought every shop in Crewkerne was full of antiques, a different business has now opened up in town – Widow Twankey’s Laundry service! She may well be a valuable relic so lets find out what she, together with the CUDOS team, had on offer at the Market Square this season.

Aladdin was the chosen pantomime. Directed by Chantelle Souttar and Richard Walters this show was a sound interpretation of the script. Written by Ben Crocker it included all the ingredients we expect from a traditional panto and a nice selection of musical numbers. In fact, I believe this to be one of Ben’s better pantomimes.

This production moved along at a steady pace and never once did it falter.

What a strong troupe of principals, Dancers and Company you have! Each character played their part with assurance but what really shone through for me was vocal projection by all members.

Katy Lyons’ Aladdin and Lisa-Marie House’s Princess Jasmine were suitably cast. They work well together and had beautiful singing voices. I only want to be with you was one of the highlights for me.

I have always been used to seeing the talented Ray Norris in a dress but a change of costume and character this season certainly paid off. What a belting Abanazer you were, having outstanding stage presence with an excellent vocal attack. I would be scared stiff to join you for a pint at Yeovil’s Wetherspoons! An excellent commanding performance.

Robert Judge’s Widow Twankey was a very likeable character. I would hazard a guess that this is your first time playing a Dame. On occasions you were a tad rigid and it sounded as if you were merely reading the script. A lilt to the voice and a few more facial expressions and pauses daring us to laugh would have enhanced your character. The tumble dryer sequence was a little naughty but hilarious. This is where you really shone through and the audience loved you for it. You had a number of costume changes but you definitely needed a hoop to carry them off well Mrs T.

Ollie Dodson’s Wishee Washee gave a very enthusiastic and energetic performance. You were audible and your facial and bodily gestures always drew our attention. It was a pity that your costume did not do you justice. I felt your bottom half resembled a clown and I have never been a fan of T shirts! Nonetheless your personality shone through and you gave a sound performance.

There was much to savour in this show. I loved all the antics of Nobby the Panda. The laundry scene worked well and did not labour although ‘Shrunken Nobby’ definitely needed face paint on her entrance. How nostalgic to have a box of OMO. I don’t think I’ve seen a packet for over 30 years!

The UV flying carpet was most memorable. Perhaps a slightly larger display of landmarks to take away the blandness of the stage may have enhanced this scene.

I would like to have seen a little more imagination by your make-up team, many characters looked pale under the lighting. An oriental appearance would have enhanced the chorus members.

This was without doubt a very good all round traditional pantomime that I certainly enjoyed. The audience absolutely had a whale of a time – and a standing ovation too. You can’t get much better than that!

Thank you for your invitation

Nigel Ford

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