CHRISTMAS in Gloucestershire just wouldn’t be Christmas without a rip-roaring pantomime full of slapstick fun, sing-a-long songs and elaborate costumes.
And as is tradition, Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre brings the goods to the table.
This year it is the turn of Aladdin to entertain thousands of theatre-goers, both young and old, with a good old fashioned tale of adventure and romance mixed with a sprinkling of comic capers.
And entertain it does.
Tweedy the Clown, who proved so popular last year the Everyman has asked the Giffords Circus funnyman back, is in peak form as the hilarious Wishee Washee. His lengthy one-man washing hanging scene is brilliantly staged as Tweedy clambers his way onto a ropy washing line, falling on and off everything in site.
Tweedy’s partnership with returning dame William Elliot, who this year becomes the brash and colourful Widow Twankey, is once again what makes the Everyman panto such a renowned success. Much of the audience, familiar with the duo’s riotous scenes together in pantos past, are in bits before the pair even begin their washing scene in which Tweedy is washed, stretched and ironed.
A charming Aladdin (Christine Modestou) and his perfect Princess Jasmin (Perry Lambert) add sparkle and singing and an impressive flying trip on a magic carpet. A dastardly Abazanar (Andrew Westfield) not only has the entire auditorium bellowing boos but manages plenty of laughs with a very unexpected Freddie Mercury number, complete with chest-revealing costume.
The Everyman Christmas panto is another triumph, a joy to watch from start to finish, with Wishee Washee and Widow Twankey clearly stealing the show. Make a wish and go see this spectacle of a family production.
It is on until January 12. Visit www.everymantheatre.org.uk