Review: ALADDIN, Macrobert Arts Centre

Aladdin runs at the Macrobert Arts Centre until 31 December

By: Dec. 03, 2023
Review: ALADDIN, Macrobert Arts Centre

Review: ALADDIN, Macrobert Arts Centre

The annual Macrobert Arts Centre pantomime for 2023 is Aladdin, written and directed by Johnny McKnight. 

Aladdin is my third Johnny McKnight-written show of the weekend and I'm starting to think I might have a problem on my hands. This year, Stirling is blessed with his presence as he stars in the panto as Marge O'Reen McTwank. Marge is a single mother to Aladdin (Betty Valencia) and Wiz-She-Was-She McTwank (Helen McAlpine) and works all day long in the laundrette. She dreams of a better life for her children and things are looking good when wealthy Prince Jasper (Dylan Wood) falls in love with her daughter Aladdin.

There's trouble afoot though as The Demon King (Robert Jack) seeks a magic lamp and only pure of heart Aladdin is worthy of retrieving it for him. Cue high drama as the McTwanks embark on an adventure to defeat The Demon King and ensure that love triumphs over evil! Almost every fairytale and pantomime trope you can think of is turned on its head in a clever new direction.

This production is packed with (lyrically altered) chart-topping hits. I hadn't realised until today that what my life was missing was Johnny McKnight performing Padam Padam in an (almost) replica Kylie Minogue costume. Alan Penman is the musical director, composer and arranger and has made this pantomime into a pop-disco extravaganza. 

The whole cast are terrific but the jewel in the crown is the Jeanie in the lamp- Amy Conachan. Her vocals are brilliant and her comedic timing is fantastic. Aladdin is an action-packed, sequin-filled explosion of absolute Christmas joy that is not to be missed.

Photo credit: Peter Dibdin