Aladdin review: supporting cast shine, with costumes made of magic

Disney’s lawyers might want to challenge TheatreWorx to a dance off to settle their scores

Aladdin (Tom Moran) with Dame Lola (Liam Butler) and Wishee (Colin Hughes) in  Aladdin at the Helix Theatre, Dublin

Aladdin (Tom Moran) with Dame Lola (Liam Butler) and Wishee (Colin Hughes) in Aladdin at the Helix Theatre, Dublin

 

The Helix

***

There is more than a nod to Disney’s 1992 film adaptation in TheatreWorx’s pantomime version of the fairy tale Aladdin. Eoin Cannon’s villainous Jafaah lacks an R because of “well, copyright”, while Adam Lynch’s fast-talking cynical genie draws heavily on Robin Williams’ cartoon comedy. The nods to popular culture are updated for 2016, however. Who is the real baddie in the ancient city of Agrabah? The evil sorcerer or Donald Trump, who surely draws just as many boos?

The thrust of the main story-line is fairly forgettable here, as the supporting cast are so much stronger (and funnier) than the romantic leads. Tom Moran and Danielle Williamson just cannot compete with the original characters in Karl Harpur’s script, like slack-jawed dim-witted Janowah (Aidan Mannion) and perennial optimist Wishee (Colin Hughes), who steal every scene, except when they are placed opposite each other and a battle for the audience’s affection begins. It ends, predictably, with a dance-off. 

Special mention must be made of the costume and make-up team led by Rita Tighe and Bern Dawson, who concoct a spectacular visual confection around the characters’ best and worst traits. Their fluorescent majesty, however, can only really be appreciated under the dim radiance of hundreds of waving glow sticks.

Until Jan 22nd