Panto Review | Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal

Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal ticks all of the festive pantomime boxes – there was plenty of mischievous fun, lots of local jokes, sing-a-longs, dazzling costumes and a rather magical set. Richard Gauntlet excelled himself once again this year. It was the perfect pre-Christmas pick-me-up that left the audience in high spirits beaming from ear to ear.

The panto told the story of the adorably well-meaning, yet slightly hapless Aladdin (Steven Roberts), falling in love with Princess Willow (Anna Hannides) and her cute pandas one song at a time. Hannides voice was absolutely stunning throughout. She deserved a medal for not getting distracted whilst the chaotic and side-splitting skits with Widow Twankey (Richard Gauntlet) and Wishy Washy (Ben Langley) were unfolding around her. Gauntlet and Langley were absolutely hilarious. Like a fine wine, their comedic timing get’s better year on year.

Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Aladdin though, the menacing Abanazar (Rik Makarem) was out to disrupt their plan and take over the world one evil wish at a time. Makarem really knew how to wind the audience up, he had us screaming and shouting at the top of our voices, trying to disrupt his wicked plans. Especially when the genie (Kiera-Nicole Brennan) was kidnapped and forced to be mean! Brennan had so much pep throughout the whole performance. She really added a little bit of sparkle every time she appeared in a puff of smoke.

A special mention should go to the adorable panto babes (I’m pretty sure they made my friends ovaries explode!) As well as Matt from Great Yarmouth who was accosted out of the audience and put on a stellar performance.

As you’d expect the set and costume design was rather colourful, out-there and whimsical. The level of detail on the costumes was astonishing – Kirsteen Wythe excelled herself once again this year. I can’t begin to imagine the hours she must have put in or the amount of glitter and beads she must have got through! I especially loved Widow Tawnky’s colourful wardrobe – her washing line hat was incredible!

There were a few other set-related moments of awe, but I shall leave them as a surprise. Let’s just say you really will be wowed.

Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal was everything a panto should be and more! If you’ve got tickets, prepare to spend a few hours smiling and giggling away to your heart’s content. It really is the perfect festive treat.

Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal runs until Sunday 13th January. For more information and tickets click here or call the box office on 01603 630000


I was kindly given these tickets for the purpose of review. As always my opinion remains honest and unbiased. 


  1. Dee Back
    2nd January 2019 / 22:42

    I have taken children to many pantomimes over the years and this was one of the best. We thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m not sure why the reviewer from “The Stage” gave such a bad review…

    • ShelleyBeth
      3rd January 2019 / 11:51

      I saw that the other day, it’s like he saw a completely different pantomime to me. Each to their own I guess! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it too though.

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