Review – Beccles and Bungay Journal – Jan 1990
“Aladdin” was in the best traditions of pantomime
Loddon Pantomime Players provided some fast moving action as they presented their annual pantomime at the lecture hall for three nights finishing Saturday.
Aladdin was their choice this year, and producer Joan Evans, who also wrote it and took the title role, came up with another good script liberally sprinkled with local quips and digs that have become a traditional part of the show.
With other Loddon panto Loddon ”veterans”, Derek Loyd and Maureen Larkin in principal roles, providing plenty of experience, it was a sure-fire success with the first night audience for whom the three hour production never dragged.
Derek Loyd again filled the “Dame” role of Widow Twankey with great energy and enthusiasm, while Maureen Larkin played Suey Wang in her inimitable style. Their timing and occasional ad-libbing was good and the new members in the cast of nearly 30 drew confidence from that.
Melvin Frankland provided an enthusiastic Wishy Washy, while Matthew Vanston and Mike Johnson as laundry hands Hoo and Wot had frequent opportunities to cause amusing misunderstandings with their names.
There was plenty of opportunity, too, for Joan Evans to use her singing talents to the full, and indeed all the singing was good is this colourful production.
Bernard Hewitt was the man inside the impressive Puff, the magic dragon costume, while the effects which produced the Genie of the Ring (attractive Alexandra Chilvers) and the Slave of the Lamp (Pat Potter, not as attractive but just as efficient!) worked perfectly on the first night.
David Bolam and Tina Vanston as the wicked Abanazar and Gazunder, kept the show moving well, and the dancers performed with poise.
Paul and Maureen Milson were the Sultan and Sultana and Ann Turner was Princess Sulema, while others taking part were Ernie Long, Frances Freestone, Andrew Clutton, Jan Johnson, Helen Dover, Joanna Bell, Clare Harrison, Nicola Holland, Paul Chlivers, Jenny Crease, Michelle Hewitt, Joanna Plane, Rebecca Bolam and Laura Bolam. The show was helped by some good sets, particularly in the Aladdin’s cave scene, while Beryl Carver provided expert accompaniment on the organ. Michelle Larkin was responsible for the choreography.