Orwell's high-flying Aladdin casts a magical spell

PUBLISHED: 10:42 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 14:35 12 May 2010

This year's Orwell Players' pantomime was a sell-out for all four performances. Sylvia Robinson's production of Aladdin was a triumph for the 73-strong cast and production team, ranging in age from six to 60. More than half the actors and dancers were un

This year's Orwell Players' pantomime was a sell-out for all four performances. Sylvia Robinson's production of Aladdin was a triumph for the 73-strong cast and production team, ranging in age from six to 60. More than half the actors and dancers were under 16-years-old, but their confidence and timing were amazing. Songs from teenagers Gemma Burdge (Aladdin), Sarah Richardson (Prince Pekoe) and Grace Williams (Princess Say Wen) were show-stoppers. The youngest Players - Peter Bloor, James Ashton and Euan and Fraser Dingwall - gave a spirited performance as the Ninja Warriors. And Paul Barraclough's portrayal of Widow Twankey was faultless. The dance sequences were beautifully choreographed by Josephine Bloor and musical accompaniment was provided by Honor Davison on piano, backed by young Jamie Everington on drums. Bruce Robertson and Edward Course controlled lighting and sound effects with a mind-boggling array of electronic gear and hairdresser Irene Desborough and her make-up team transformed the cast from Orwellians to Pekinese for the duration. From Twankey's Chinese Laundry to the Alcove of a Thousand Jewels, and on to the Great Pyramid in Egypt - via a dramatic flying carpet sequence devised by Chris Bird - the audience was taken on a spectacular and often hilarious journey in the true spirit of traditional pantomime.

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