Aladdin at Adam Smith: Keeping the magic of pantomime alive

The cast of Aladdin at Adam Smith Theatre, 2017
The cast of Aladdin at Adam Smith Theatre, 2017

It’s perhaps one of the highlights of the festive season, as we bundle the kids and the grandparents into the car for the annual trip to the local panto.

And Kirkcaldy’s Adam Smith Theatre is aiming to capitalise on the roaring success of last year’s Cinderella – although it is moving away from the land of fairy tales this year to join Aladdin on his Arabian adventures.

Aladdin at Adam Smith Theatre, 2017

Aladdin at Adam Smith Theatre, 2017

The Adam Smith and Imagine Theatre are working in partnership again on a show that has been put together by one of the best creative teams in the country, with a script written by the BAFTA award-winning duo Iain Lauchlan and Will Brenton, creators of popular children’s TV shows such as Tweenies and Fun Song Factory.

Full of slap-stick comedy, fabulous song and dance routines, stunning special effects, spectacular scenery and breathtaking costumes, Aladdin is sure to delight audiences both young and old alike.

Producer Steve Boden knows the festive season is a great opportunity to introduce children to the wonderful world of theatre, and hopes this year’s fun-filled extravaganza of entertainment will give them a taste for more.

“Pantomime is a unique form of theatre and the UK is the only territory in the world that has had this tradition for centuries,” he said.

Aladdin at Adam Smith Theatre, 2017

Aladdin at Adam Smith Theatre, 2017

“It is a wonderful tradition to keep alive and in such a fast moving digital world it is a chance for a bit of simple escapism and the opportunity to immerse oneself into something that’s live and interactive.

“As pantomime can be enjoyed by everyone from grandparents to toddlers, it is one of the few activities that the whole family can still do together.”

Steve continued: “I’m saddened when I hear of children, and indeed some adults, who sit on a smart phone or tablet at home, with the television on at the same time and everyone doing their own thing, with no discussions or chatting taking place.

“As a producer it’s a constant battle to try to tempt people out of the house to watch something as unique as a theatre production.

“That night when you take your seat in anticipation of what’s about to unfold on stage is a unique experience for you.

“On that evening, at that particular time, on that one date, what you see cannot, and will never be repeated exactly as you see it.

“That’s the difference between sitting at home watching a DVD and coming out to the theatre.

“You’ll miss all the ad-libbing that goes on, the funny wee nuances, the corpsing as one of the characters loses it and drags his fellow cast members down in howls of laughter – you can’t ever get that from a DVD or pre-recorded show.”

So, grab your hat and coat and bring the whole family along to experience a pantomime adventure to the mystical Far East featuring all the traditional pantomime ingredients including sensational song and dance numbers, a laugh-a-minute script and bags of audience participation ...

Steve told us there would be some unexpected surprises along the way, which might just involve some audience members – you have been warned folks!

And you can expect some magical special effects employed on stage, including the spectacle of a flying carpet no less, and the ‘Cave of Wonders’, which features a mesmerising light show.

Then there’s that afore-mentioned audience participation in a sketch featuring Widow Twanky in the laundry.

This year will see many familiar faces returning to the stage, with the hilarious Gordon Brandie back as Wishee Washee. Last year’s Cinderella, Kim Shepherd, will be taking on the dual roles of So Shi and Spirit of the Ring, with her Fairy Godmother, Ashley Andrew, taking on the part of the Princess.

Derek McGhie, who was one of the Ugly Sisters last year, continues his wicked ways as the evil magician Abanazar, while Matthew Tomlinson will be joining the cast and playing the hero of the story, Aladdin.

Steve added: “Adam Smith Theatre has a great tradition of family friendly productions, and it speaks volumes as to how community-based this venue is when the cast from last year couldn’t wait to return for this year’s production.”

Aladdin runs from Saturday, December 9, until Saturday, January 6.

As part of the programme run there are two performances which ensure that everyone can enjoy this exciting Christmas panto: The British Sign Language performance on Thursday, December 21, at 7pm; and the relaxed performance on Friday, January 5, at 11am.

Tickets details at www.onfife.com.