Theatre Review: Aladdin

Tea Tree Players have been bringing Panto to the area for many a successful year now and it shows in the excellence of the traditional pantomime they are presenting to end 2019.

Presented by Tea tree Players

Reviewed 22 Nov 2019

Tradition: noun – The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.

A really great description of Pantomime.

Pantomime. That wonderful tradition that has been passed down through generations of theatre goers in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. It’s about dressing up, swapping genders, making really bad dad jokes and getting more than a little suggestive sometimes. It is a beautiful tradition that is full of humour, good natured banter between the sexes, some very fruity exchanges between the protagonists and a lot of audience interaction.

Tea Tree Players have been bringing Panto to the area for many a successful year now and it shows in the excellence of the traditional pantomime they are presenting to end 2019. This is truly a very strong ensemble piece of entertainment that relies on a cooperative, and fast moving, ensemble. From villagers to Kung Fu fighters from Mummies to palace guards, this ensemble, through their evident enjoyment of what they were creating, made sure the audience didn’t miss a moment, a boo, a hiss or a “hello Washee”.

From the moment the loveably bad Abanazer (Mike Pole) revealed his dastardly plan to the audience until his banishment, his performance, and this show, sparkles, fizzes and pops with energy!  – you’ll have to go and see it, Oops sorry, it’s sold out.

The definition of community theatre is that it builds and extends it reach with every new piece of work. There are some very strong performances from a couple of the younger members of the cast. Steven Brown (Aladdin) was a joy to watch and to listen too. Fresh and engaging. Annika Barry (Jasmine) can sing beautifully and she can act as well. A talent to develop. Tim Cousins’ Widow Twankey is funny, loveable, naughty and oh so enjoyable. Seeing Widow Twankey sporting a costume resembling a Christmas cracker – well you’ll just have to activate your fertile imaginations!

Rhi Shapcott’s Spirit of the Ring was sharp, spot on and really in charge of her place in the piece and complemented the hip version of The Genie so ably brought to life by David Kinna. Ping (Lachlan Blackwell) and Pong (Alicia Foster) have developed a relationship that is based on some very funny physical comedy. But for me the outstanding performers were Hayley Mitchell (The Empress), Samuel Creighton (Wishy Washee) and Tim Cousins (Widow Twankey). These fine performers handled their audience participation with ease and showed an innate ability to enter wholeheartedly into the world of pantomime. Their jokes were terrible, their content questionable and their wonderfully funny banter, side splittingly funny.

Damon Hill has done a fine job of hog wrestling 32 performers into submission. A cast of that size requires an enormous amount of patience and encouragement and I am sure Damon is still encouraging, supporting and helping everyone deal with the journey they have to undertake to get here. He also designed a very traditional and workable Panto set which was both visually great and very versatile. The painted backdrops I particularly liked – they don’t get used enough. Then there’s the hand he had in designing and making the costumes, does he ever sleep?

There are so many people involved in this traditional Christmas show, there are just too many to name. You truly are a hard-working, talented, energetic ensemble who breath life, energy and humour into this romp.

I really enjoyed sitting in an audience of adults and children alike who revelled in booing the villain, cheering the young lovers, groaning at the bad jokes, shouting at the mummies and singing along with the popular songs that were used to move the action forward.

What a great night out. Merry Christmas Tea Tree Players and a very Happy New Year and thanks for getting a smile on the dial to end the year. What a great cast, crew and dedicated team you are Tea Tree Players, long my you prosper.

Hello Washee! He’s behind you!

Reviewed by Adrian Barnes

Venue: Tea Tree Players Theatre

Season: Until 7 Dec 2019

Duration:  2 hours 30mins (including interval)

Tickets: Adults $15.00 Conc: @13.00


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