Ali Baba and the forty thieves

Director: Rob Brittles

Choreographer: Cathryn Yates

Musical Director:  Claire Sweeney

Opening night was abuzz with anticipation as the cast and crew prepared to deliver this colourful pantomime. I use the word colourful because that is exactly what it was. The costumes were first class the makeup and hair perfect for each character, the lighting innovative, the sound spot on, and to add to this the casting was great.

With a lineup of 14 principal characters and 32 supporting singers and dancers this is a ‘must see’ pantomime. The musical numbers were slick and just the right length, the harmonies were good and the choreography excellent.

What makes this company so special is the amount of enthusiasm from everyone on stage. Darren Cooper as always was excellent as Dame Fatima Fandango, he soon had the audience on his side and he was in his element with his sidekick Mustafa Screwloose played by Becky Towner-Yates a great performer who didn’t miss a laugh.

Two other super comedy performances were given by Bashim and Grabbit (Stephen Johnson & Kim Cooper). I said this was great casting and I have to mention newcomer Molly Parnell who played Scheherazade. I have rarely heard such clear and distinct diction from such a young performer. Her role was to tell the story of Ali Baba and she held you spellbound throughout the show. Congratulations must also go the 3 handmaidens Betsey Driver, Eliza Verdon & Florence Heyes who again had such clarity in their diction. Sam Bolton had the audience booing and hissing as he carried out his orders from evil Alsatia the dog played by Charlotte Parry. However, on the good side was Caterina the cat played by Lisa Quin who charmed her way around to make everything right, this was quite a nice change from the usual witch and a fairy.

Isaac McElroy was in good voice as the Prince and looking glamorous was Samantha Provart as the Princess. Congratulations to Jazz Lomas as Marjana who sang beautifully and Isaac Fletcher-Shaw in the title role of Ali Baba. Completing the line up were Graham Fletcher-Shaw as the drunken Grand Vizier and Steve Daniels as the Sultan.

The scenery from Scenery Solutions was excellent and congratulations to the stage crew and set builders who worked hard to produce some fabulous props throughout the performance. Costumes by Charades and the wardrobe team looked amazing. As I said at the outset this pantomime is colourful and I hope you get chance to see it.

To get tickets for this weekend’s performances go to https://newmillsarttheatre.co.uk/whats-on/

But hurry you really don’t want to miss it.

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