Bristol Theatre News

Aladdin Bristol Hippodrome Pantomime Review 2017

Aladdin Bristol Hippodrome Review 13/12/2017

Wow! What a truly magical pantomime Aladdin at The Bristol Hippodrome is this year.

With jaw-dropping special effects, a truly talented cast and a pantomime verging on show, Bristol audiences won’t be disappointed.

Ambassador Theatre Group partnered up with panto producers Qdos Entertainment this year and you can see a difference straight away.

From the moment you walk into the auditorium, the set design astounds. The glitter scenic painter is redundant here. There isn’t one shiny piece of the currently contentious substance to be seen. What we have are lights and depth. Set designer Ian Westbrook 3D Creations and Howard Hudson’s lighting working together with haze is breathtaking.

This is a very technical show. We have pyrotechnics throughout, giant puppets and a fabulous 3D film filled with jump-scares. Act One ends with the best magic carpet ride across the front of the stalls. It’s just brilliant.

So it looks good and is certainly attention grabbing. It’s passably funny though lacks sophistication and Act One is a little too long, lagging in pace towards the end. Even Joe Pasquale begs for an interval at one point.

I’m always apprehensive before panto starts. Traditionally its humour has come to be at the expense of marginalised groups. The book just manages to get through without offending, though the eighties will be phoning up to ask for the word ‘div’ and a joke about Abu Dhabi back.

Joe Pasquale as Wishee Washee kept the audience in stitches with his frenetic delivery. ‘Handsome and debonair’ Marti Pellow was suitably moody as Abanazar.

Rebecca Bernice-Amissah was my Man of the Match, with her amazing vocals. Too often in panto casting, talent and training is substituted for household names. This show has a good balance of famous, talent and entertaining.

Chipping Sodbury! It was great to have Andy Ford back this year, providing his familiar Bristolian burr as the voice of Genie.

If you have children, do watch out for the start of the show. As is usual in panto, it starts with a flourish which can be worrying for young children and those with sensory sensitivities. There is a Relaxed Performance on Thursday 28 December 2017 at 2:00pm, which would be ideal for family members on the autistic spectrum and those who find attending traditional performances stressful. For more access information, visit the ATG website here:

Aladdin is at The Bristol Hippodrome until Sunday 07 January 2018. It’s the fresh, entertaining pantomime that Bristol has long been waiting for.


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