Aladdin’s lamp brings pantomime magic to Leighton Buzzard!

The Empress and Widow Twanky. The colourful costumes and sets were one of the highlights.
The Empress and Widow Twanky. The colourful costumes and sets were one of the highlights.

It’s the time of year when Leighton Buzzard audiences brace themselves for water pistols, sing offs and sweet showers - oh yes they do!

Pantomime season has come to town, and this year The Leighton Buzzard Drama Group are transporting audiences far far away, as their show Aladdin takes place in a little Peking laundry.

Hannah Rourke stars as the hero, as she plays the role she’s dreamed of ever since she was a nipper.

Rourke gives her Aladdin effortless cool, but like all good heroes, he’s got a lot on his plate - and it’s not just chop sticks...

Aladdin’s got in trouble with The Empress of China - a character which actor Lauren Waters plays with an excellent no nonsense attitude - because the young lad has been spotted kissing Princess Mandarin (Clarrissa Busson).

Not only has he got himself a warrant for arrest from the Chinese police, but Aladdin’s also got to watch out for his evil ‘uncle’ Abanazar from Egypt (John Stone).

Stone’s evil wizard provokes plenty of boos from the audience - and while Aladdin’s not being tricked into finding a lamp, the poor lad’s got to try and become rich enough to marry the Princess!

It’s another panto triumph for the LBDG, as Stone’s performance of Travie McCoy’s ‘Billionaire’ leaves the audience in stitches, while Maggie Duigenan’s Genie vocals certainly add magic.

Firm favourites were also flirty Widow Twanky (Tony White) and Aladdin’s brother Wishee Washee (Corrina Brodie) who bring the audience endless catchy tunes, and plenty of puns - some for the grown-ups too.

The audience were in high spirits on opening night, and this was also down to fabulous comedy duo, policemen Yu Dun Wong (Caroline Page) and Hu Dun Pong (Russell Bennett) - but can anyone understand them?!

Bringing a sense of calm to the madness was loyal hand maid So Shy (Deryn Rhodes) who was also a beautiful dancer along with Lucy Dudley, Heather Brodie and Xenia Kitchen - keep an eye out for the fan routine!

Finally, special mention must go to soloists Clarrissa and Maggie who gave strong debut panto performances and to mezzo-soprano Dr Nguyen, The Spirit of the Ring, who wowed the crowd with her High School Musical number.

For panto fun, call the box office on: 0300 300 8125.

Aladdin is at the Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre from January 12 - 27.

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