IT’S PANTO SEASON!
OH, YES IT IS!
2019 has been quite a year for Milton Keynes Theatre.
With the spectacular visits from Les Miserables, American Idiot, Glynbourne, The English National Ballet, Welsh National Opera, The Exorcist, Kinky Boots, Avenue Q and so much more!
And as we approach the end of the year, things aren’t slowing down, I mean it’s nearly Christmas and that means it’s PANTO TIME!
Hello to this years pantomime Aladdin!
It stars Lee Mead in the title role as Aladdin.
You might know him from winning the BBC talent show Any Dream Will Do or maybe from the West End where he starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Legally Blonde and Wicked or maybe, maybe you know him from Casualty or Holby City or maybe, maybe, maybe (😂) you know him from one of six other Qdos Entertainment pantomime productions he’s starred in (Qdos are the world’s biggest pantomime producer and have staged MK Theatre’s panto since 2017).
Starring alongside Lee is Joe Pasquale as Aladdin’s brother Wishee Washee.
Joe Pasquale is a beloved UK comedian and winner of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me out Of Here!
He’s the one with the funny voice and the funny jokes. He’s toured as Frank Spencer in Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em (omg I want to see this so much!) and been in the Royal Variety Show SIX times!
Aladdin also stars Tegan Bannister as Princess Jasmine.
This is Tegan’s second visit to Milton Keynes Theatre as she stunned crowds earlier this year in May/June when she appeared as Eponine in the UK Tour of Les Miserables (and was rather freaking incredible!).
And not forgetting David Robbins who plays Widow Twankey…
…because what is a pantomime without a dame!
David Robbins is rather special as he doesn’t just perform as Widow Twankey but also designs his own wardrobe, creates all his own wigs and makes wigs for Dames across the country. WOW! 😍
The main cast is finished off by Debra Michaels as the powerful Empress, Phil Corbitt as Abanazar (the bad guy) and Sarah Earnshaw as Scheherazade, the Slave of the Ring.
Last night the family and I were invited to a special press gala event to watch Aladdin and it did not disappoint one bit.
The biggest concern for anyone taking two small children to something that requires them to sit still and is way out of their usual routine is of course, will they handle it?
The performance started at 7pm (usually bedtime in our house) so it was only natural to be a little apprehensive (yeah, bricking it tbh) that they were not going to be able to handle the late night entertainment, but it is a Christmas treat, so why not try!
I’m super, super happy to say they both handled it well.
I think what helped was the aid of the flashing light up toys (the ones you always see at fairs and fireworks and any event geared up for kids) that was glued in their hands throughout the show.
At the front of the theatre was a huge stall, a shining, eye burning array of these toys which all the kids were sucked over to.
As well as the toys and on a practical note, we got a booster seat for Squishee, as at only two years old, he really is very little.
He sat happily on it and seemed comfortable.
We sat in row D seats 1-4 and here’s our view to the stage (snazzy eh!)
We was in the thick of the action, able to see everything nice and clearly and at one point, was even showered in bubbles. The kids loved it.
Lee Mead, Joe Pasquale and David Robbins were all super brilliant together. Totes amazing!
The show itself is so entertaining. Filled with jokes, from really filthy adult jokes to silly pranks for the entire family to laugh over, there really was entertainment for us all in it.
Aladdin finished by 9.15pm-ish and we were home by 9.30pm where the kids were more than ready for their bed.
Best thing about seeing Aladdin for me, was being able to share my love of theatre with the whole family, with something that was genuinely suited for the big ones of us and the small, with us all chuckling together and sharing a special christmassy outing, well, that’s just nom! 😍
But don’t take my word for it, here’s what Half Pint said… 👇🏻
Me: What did you think of Aladdin?
Half Pint: Good and I loved the funny bit. There was bubbles and I liked it when Widow Twankey was on the stage.
Me: Who was your favourite character?
Half Pint: It was those two (pointing at Widow Twankey and Princess Jasmine on a press image).
Me: What was your favourite bit?
Half Pint: The wedding!
Me: Do you think other people should go see Aladdin?
Half Pint: YES!!
Aladdin is at Milton Keynes Theatre 7 December 2019 – 12 January 2020.
For full transparency, tickets to the show were kindly gifted to me from Milton Keynes Theatre but they don’t tell me what to write. Oh, no they don’t! Well, except this bit –
Best availability before Christmas: Friday 20th December at 7pm