Aladdin, Alhambra Theatre:
It looks like director Ian Bustard has rubbed the magic lamp in his Aladdin for the Alhambra, Dunfermline.
Theatre owner Bill Fletcher has zhuzhed up Richard Gauntlett’s under-firing script and plonked it down four-square in Dune-firm-lean – not quite under the shadow of the Forth Bridge.
CBeebies favourite Joshua Haynes brings a strong presence to Aladdin with Danielle Jam – his onscreen girlfriend from Molly and Mack – adding a bit of fire to her Princess Jasmine. The Panda King plot device that runs through this adaptation is nicely done, with strong work from choreographer Alanna Paterson and her dance troupe.
Billy Mack’s sometimes laconic delivery as Widow Twankey belies a real glee to his performance, with an onstage generosity and awareness that ensures Alan Orr’s Wishee Washee gets all the space he needs for their burgeoning double act to bloom.
They make their version of Francie and Josie’s Sweet Violets very much their own, while also doing justice to the innuendo of the song.
With Jamie McKillop rather underused, the diamond find here is Tyler Collins, whose Abanazar is almost perfect. His hoity-toity attitude and lanky presence ensures he is pure baddie but not quite true villain, and his redemption is all the better for it.
The joy of the production is that while it coalesces around Mack, there is a strong ensemble feel to it, with no one performer more important than the other – right down to the sweet kids in the youth company. A gem of a show