Dereham Operatic Society
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp
Director - Jill Jarman
Musical Director - Ian Futers
Choreographer - Justine Kerry
27th Dec 2009 to 2nd January 2010
at Dereham Memorial Hall.
ALADDIN - Linda Campbell
PRINCESS SO SHI - Kate Syrett
WIDOW TWANKEY - Nick Bird
WISHEE WASHEE - Emma Gall
ABANAZER - John McInnes
PING - Peter Havis
PONG - Kevin Reeve
EMPEROR - Colin Harris
GENIE - Alan Syder
SLAVE - Joanne Doughty
NARRATOR - Joan Hocking
Helen Bailey, Chloe Brown, Jackie Buckingham, Heather Neave, Joan Hocking, Judith Oulare
Rachael Bird, Ellie Buckingham, Joanne Doughty, Laura Pirret, Bryony Rowe
Review - Dereham Times 31 Jan 2010:
"Pure genie-us with this traditional panto feast Aladdin
JUST like Christmas lights, plum pudding and mulled wine, no traditional Christmas celebration is complete without the seasonal family pantomime, and you know you are always in safe hands with the annual feast of entertainment from Dereham Operatic Society.
This year the society must feel a tinge of both sadness and anticipation as it performs Aladdin in its regular home the Memorial Hall, which shortly closes both its doors and curtains for refurbishment.
However, to mark the occasion in style, the society, under the able direction of producer Jill Jarman, has delivered a surefire winner of a show.
With upbeat songs, an energetic cast and all the classic elements of panto tradition, the audience can climb aboard the magic carpet and join Aladdin in his adventure to win the hand of the fair princess.
Linda Campbell takes the title role of Aladdin, and is all that a principal boy should be, with great stage presence, vocal talent and poise.
Playing opposite is Kate Syrett in her first main role, as Princess So-Shi, giving a lovely performance of a feisty princess, quite able to stand up to her impoverished father the Emperor, Colin Harris, who gives a polished and amusing performance.
Villain of the piece is wicked magician Abanazer, played with great aplomb, a huge voice (rather in the manner of Brian Blessed) and some lovely comic asides, by John McInnes, who has the audience boo-ing with enthusiasm.
More magic of a kinder nature is supplied by two genies, the exotic and ethereal Slave of the Ring, played beautifully by Joanne Doughty, and a novel interpretation of the Genie of the Lamp, by Alan Syder, who delivers a very entertaining "Elvis inspired" performance.
Slapstick, audience participation and jokes abound courtesy of Aladdin’s mum, Widow Twankey, played by Nick Bird, who not only deserves praise for a fabulous and energetic performance, winning the audience with slick comic timing and a seemingly endless wardrobe, but also because he had to step into the Dame’s shoes and learn the entire role at just three days notice, due to illness.
The Dame is ably assisted by Wishee Washee, engagingly played by Emma Gall, who has some great visual comedy and strikes up a good rapport with the younger audience members, and two perfectly matched Chinese Policemen, Ping and Pong, Peter Havis and Kevin Reeve, working well together as the hapless duo.
Throw in a troupe of lovely dancers, beautifully choreographed by Justine Kerry, a variety of songs under the baton of Ian Futers, a well-drilled and busy chorus, atmospheric and moodenhancing light and sound effects, and you have the recipe for a perfect end to the Christmas and New Year festivities."