Told By An Idiot, Aladdin

Review in Issue 14-1 | Spring 2002

It's panto season and Told By An Idiot serve up an alternative recipe to the usual high camp shenanigans, though not without the classic ingredients of the dastardly villain, the cross-dressing, and the obligatory audience participation.

Aladdin's search for true love, performed with engaging charm by Hayley Carmichael, is hindered by the power-crazed Abanazer, played with devilish relish by Richard Katz. Seeking escape from the drudge of her Wash and Twirl launderette, Widow Twankey – a sparkly Paul Hunter delivering blows to the head from Twankey's breakfast special frying pan – yearns for money, while Aladdin's best friend Wishee Washee, a hilarious turn from Javier Marzan, careers about the stage with his trademark Peepolykus clowning. Of course love wins the day and Aladdin gets to marry the princess and, thanks to the genie, becomes exceedingly rich, whilst the baddie is suitably thwarted and, having accidentally swallowed the genie, slinks offstage arguing over who gets to choose what to eat for dinner.

Although occasionally missing the mark with heavy repetition of some gags, and wordplay referencing songs from the 70s and 80s – perhaps a little obscure for the younger audience – the sheer glee with which the performers play the comedy is a delight. This is intelligent, feel-good pantomime beautifully staged and rich with humour, a perfect antidote to Christmas excess. Altogether now: ‘He's behind you!’

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Dec 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-1
p. 27