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Review Aladdin Panto Manchester Opera House 2021

alexandra Burke on stage at Aladdin Panto Manchester
14 Dec 2021

Panto is back in Manchester and Aladdin has arrived at the Manchester Opera House for Christmas 2021. Check out what we thought in our review.  

A show at Christmas is a must-do tradition and it is great to see the big Manchester Panto back for 2021 with  Manchester Opera House bringing Aladdin to the stage. 

Running until 2nd January 2022, the Manchester Panto stars Alexandra Burke, Ceri Dupree, Ben Nickless and Matthew Coke in an Aladdin story.

We were invited along to check out Aladdin at their press night and you can discover what we thought below. 

Review Aladdin Panto Manchester Opera House 2021

We have been going to the Manchester Panto’s at the Opera House since the children were little and they have become one of the highlights of the run-up to Christmas.

After last years break it was lovely to see that my now nine and twelve were excited as ever as we made our way to the theatre. 

The show offers a funny spin to the traditional tale of Aladdin. Based in Mancunia, Aladdin a poor son of washerwoman Widow Twanky wants nothing more than to marry his girlfriend Princess Jasmine. Before he can do so, he needs the blessing of Jasmine’s overprotective mother The Supreme Leader of Mancunia. 

The story follows Aladdin as with the help of a magical ring his father left him, the Spirit of the Ring Scherezade and his brother Wishee Washee try to gain his fortune. Of course, the panto villain sorcerer Abanzar is set to stand in his way.

Review Aladdin Panto Manchester Opera House Villain

Alexandra Burke plays the magical Scherezade and is the big star name. Fans will be glad to hear that she makes an early appearance treating us all with her amazing voice. Her renditions of Hallelujah and Bad Boys and her signature dance moves stole the show and it would be easy to forget that you were actually there for panto and not a concert. 

Review Aladdin Manchester Opera House Alexandra Burke Credit Phil Tragen Image Credit Phil Tragen 

However, pantomime lovers don’t need to worry Burke does get involved in the Panto fun. The second half sees her in a hilarious dance-off with Ben Nickless as Wishee Washie proving that she hasn’t forgotten any of her Strictly skills along with collecting a few more on the way.

Having seen Ben Nickless in two previous panto’s I had high expectations and I am glad to say he did not disappoint.  He had perfect comedy timing and instantly built a rapport with the audience. Within minutes of appearing on the stage, he had everyone in stitches. Expect slapstick comedy,  double entendres, cheeky jokes, an abundance of impressions and a hilarious and slightly politically rap.  

Review Aladdin Panto Manchester Opera House Ben Nickless

Wishee Washie was not the only one bringing the panto comedy. Ceri Dupree as Widow Twankey gained lots of laughs and wowed with elaborate outfit changes for each appearance. 

Review Aladdin Panto Manchester Opera House Ceri Dupree

As we have come to expect from the big Manchester shows, no panto magic had been spared with flying carpets, a huge blue genie and even a giant snake that moved across the stage. 

The show of course had all the elements that you would expect from a panto, with an abundance of ‘boos’, ‘Oh No It Isn’ts’, the characters ignoring the audiences advice and lots of audience interaction. 

It was great to see the Panto staple of the ‘If I wasn’t In Pantomime Song” made an appearance. It had the whole audience laughing out loud especially when everything seemed to go wrong. Whether Ben getting ‘accidentally’ hit was intentional or not, it was truly hilarious and a highlight for son. 

In the current climate, a night of panto basics, good old fashioned humour and a wowing performance by Alexandra Burke was just what was needed.  

My often ‘too cool for school’ 12-year-old son was in hysterics throughout and my nine-year-old daughter loved the slapstick and toilet humour along with the amazing dance numbers. 

My husband is notoriously hard to please but didn’t stop laughing throughout at the many ‘dad jokes’. I imagine it will be just a matter of time that they will be repeated and claimed as his own. 

If you are looking for a night of fun and laughter this Christmas season Aladdin at the Manchester Opera House will make the perfect festive treat.

For more information and to book tickets for Aladdin at the Manchester Opera House see here.

Main Image Credit Phil Tragen 

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