Review – Aladdin, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Monday 13 December 2010

The Whingers are seeing at least four pantos this year which won’t leave us time to write much; consider that our seasonal gift to you.

So, Southampton:

Despite the addition of a pointless sub-title and despite it being in Southampton, Aladdin, A Wish Come True is a winner.

There is top notch singing from S-Club 7’s Jon Lee as Aladdin and from Show Off Piano Bar‘s former Mistress of Ceremonies Marissa Dunlop-Biddle as Princess Jasmine

Big costumes, big sets. Richard Mawbey has constructed the wigs and there are bastardised versions of songs from Nine, Chicago and Take That,

Comedy policmen Ping and Pong turn in a pleasingly slick adaptation of “Who’s on first?“, the genie is a puppet and there’s a sensational magic carpet ride.

But most impressively of all, of course Lily Savage has been prised out of retirement to star as Widow Twankey and even gets to do a bit of her Marelene Dietrich impression (briefly).

All this in the beautifully restored 2,300 capacity 1928 Southampton Empire (sadly now renamed the Mayflower Theatre and the poorer for it).

There’s no slosh, no speciality act, no singalong, no sweet throwing. But you can’t have everything, not even in Southampton.


Rating score 4-5 full-bodied


11 Responses to “Review – Aladdin, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton”

  1. JohnnyFox Says:

    did she do ‘When You’ve A Lamppost Attached To Your Mac’ ?

  2. David Says:

    Curious to know WHY you’re doing four pantos – for the love of panto, not Pinter (Desmond Barrit’s immortal line when some of his gags were greeted with frosty silence)?

  3. Michael Says:

    Panto is the children’s theatre much enjoyed by their parents … and they are real fans, I bet.
    Great stuff and a good intro for the children to theatrical art.

  4. Nick Says:

    Haha, anyone would think that the reviewer had some sort of prejudice against Southampton…

  5. Kellie Says:

    I watched last night at Southampton Mayflower and had the most amazing time with my children. I wish I could see again tonight and the night after. Had all the adults laughing and the kids screaming “boooooooo” stop the negativity!

  6. Jo Says:

    What’s wrong with Southampton??

    Went to see the panto the day after Boxing Day, brilliant! Jon Lee was great, but of course Lily stole the show.

  7. Marissa Dunlop Bidwell Says:

    So glad you enjoyed it- sad I didn’t get to say hi! Hope you are well. Big kiss, marissa x

  8. Laura Says:

    Went to see it and couldn’t stop laughing, it was so amazing! Lilly savage was excellent as was Jon Lee. Ping and Pong were hilarious. Didn’t think much of Princess Jasmine though. Really want to know how they do the flying carpet, it was so good.

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