Aladdin

 

While adhering with some style to the traditional storyline of Aladdin, the pantomime at the Everyman Palace breezily reorganises the fairy tale to allow for comic as well as musical interludes. Thunderous amplification exaggerates the weaknesses in both areas of this production, but the lavish costuming, youthful cast and general, generous enthusiasm make up (almost) for these deficiencies.

Directed at a brisk pace by Paul Dennehy, the show features some remarkable talent, not least that of Catherine Mahon-Buckley in the perhaps over-written part of Rancide, the evil courtier; although taking up too much of the story, the character is presented with such thrilling conviction that her omni-presence is excusable. The same cannot be said for the weakness of the comic writing and the confusion between the familiar and the vulgar - a distinction essential to pantomime. A better script would have made more use of the ability of Rachel Walsh and Kieran FitzGerald, although Kenneth O'Regan is a satisfying Aladdin, ably partnered by Elizabeth Kenny as Princess Samara.

Colourful settings by Catherine Mulvihill show some weakness in perspective and a tendency to over-crowd the stage. Although the choreography is more drill than dancing, the formations are attractive; there is some competent singing and an overall atmosphere of gaiety is achieved.