Pantomime has returned to the Broadway after a 10-year hiatus with a dame to delight you and a baddie to behold.
Mark Hyde is the former - Widow Twankey in this KD Theatre Productions interpretation of Aladdin, the tale of the street urchin in Old Peking who falls in love with a princess.
To be fair the Dame has had a great part written for him but the frocked-one well and truly delivered.
He had the pick of the jokes and showed off great delivery throughout, generating the biggest laughs of the night, and he really worked Saturday’s audience well. Truth be told, he’s my favourite dame of the Peterborough panto season.
Playing the villain of the piece brilliantly, the evil Abanaazar, was the excellent Oliver Broad.
He was bad enough to generate plenty of boos, but able to step out of character occasionally to milk a few laughs, too. His song and dance numbers weren’t bad, either.
The whole thing felt a little disjointed and stop-start at times, but the good bits were very good.
I particularly enjoyed the launderette scene, where the Widow and son number two Wishee Washee were at their best - the young simpleton played with great energy and enthusiasm by Benjamin Cupitt.
Andrew Cannon, as Aladdin, and Victoria Blackburn, as Princess Jasmine, worked well together - sharing a couple of nice foot-tapping songs - I always think is is difficult playing things straight when all around are playing for laughs.
I didn’t take to Melissa Brown-Taylor’s Empress but I did warm to her as the sassy, diva-ish Genie of the Lamp with a great, soulful voice.
The busy ensemble proved they were a talented bunch and well done the local youngsters from Tu Danse Studios making up the Panto Babes.
You can see Aladdin at The Broadway uintil December 31. Ticket details at www.thebroadway.today