Aladdin – The Thameside Christmas Pantomime

There walked out an Essex boy, in a little golden jacket with white trousers on. Muscles on full show, with his abs out too. The women all started paying a little closer attention. Nope… it wasn’t a scene out of ‘Magic Mike’, it was the Genie at this years’ pantomime in the Thameside Theatre.

The pantomime shown was Aladdin, arguably one of the best Disney films of all time. Every winter I go to watch the pantomime in Grays, with high hopes, yet they still exceed my expectations every year, with 2018 being no different.

It’s a small theatre but this makes a much comfier and chilled environment, hence why my family and I have always choose to go here for our yearly pantomime visit. The relaxed atmosphere was reflected in the performance like always. It isn’t as structured as some other pantomimes’ shown in bigger theatres, it was more laid back, but this is what made it funnier than other performances.

The pantomime dame, which is a man dressed as a women, was again my highlight character and was the main person in making it such a relaxed atmosphere and overall a funny show. It was the same actor, ‘Luke Coldham’, who played the dame from the previous years here at Thameside, and yet again he was funnier than ever. He knew how to connect with the crowd, interacting with us, making jokes as well as even embarrassing members of the audience too! He managed to interact with not just the children but making slightly inappropriate jokes for the adults to laugh at too.

Furthermore, the storyline was great, it followed closely to the story told in the original Disney film, with the flying carpet scene making the kids and even the adults’ faces light up too! They got the carpet to float, just like the real movie! It added that element of magic into the pantomime and to see the shock and happiness on the little kids’ faces made it even better.

Every year, like most pantomimes, Thameside had a few familiar celebrity faces involved in the production. This year it was Dan Osbourne, most famously known for his role in TOWIE, and also Ben Jardine, who appeared on the TV programme ‘Married at First Sight’. Both of the two were also in the line-up for UK’s Celebrity Big Brother Series 22. Dan, who played the eye candy Genie, was the star… no not just because of how he looked… even though no one was complaining; he was just so natural on the stage and really made a connection with the audience. ­

The pantomime had something for everyone in it, I’ve seen over 15 pantomimes, and this was arguably the best one yet… oh no it wasn’t… oh yes it was… well until next year anyway.

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