Pattaya Players “Aladdin” packs the house

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Crowds of excited onlookers gathered for the first night of the Pattaya Players pantomime, “Aladdin” at the impressive Venue Cabaret Theater in the Jomtien Complex this past Friday.

It was noticeable that “Aladdin” served up a much hungered-for panto show as the hordes of audience members overflowed the theater to standing room only!  This was, no doubt encouraged both by the fact that it was Pattaya’s first-ever pantomime and also because it was brought to town by the now highly respected Pattaya Players troupe.

The cast of “Aladdin” in all their splendor! The cast of “Aladdin” in all their splendor!

Theatre-goers were encouraged from the start to participate in the fun and shout out as often as they wished.  They clearly took this advice to heart, throwing themselves into all the usual audience interaction and jumping at the chance to volunteer, jeer, applaud and party in traditional panto style.

“Aladdin” has certainly kicked off the Pattaya festive season to a sparkling start, with a multi-talented cast and outrageous costumes.  A high-octane romp through the familiar tale of the magic lamp is given the supernatural treatment with a cast of actors who slip seamlessly into their fantastic roles.

There is nothing like any dame I’ve ever seen in Mike Pence’s effervescently hyperactive turn as Widow Twankey.  This is a dame who is high on comedy and a professional in camp cliché.

Chris Parsons’ Abanazar is almost indistinguishable, clad in a sinister black cloak and festooned with a villainous beard and mustache.  He roared and bellowed with fiendish delight and milked everything for all it’s worth, stirring up adult audience-goers and scaring the younger, more intimidable attendees.

There was delight too, in a Genie (played by Eva Johnson) with a splash of Cindi Lauper and a dash of the Strictly Come Dancing flair.

Tara McGirr played the Princess Jasmine with an air of sophistication, and Aladdin was portrayed heroically by Foo Smith.  Both actors gave it everything they’ve got, oozing campiness and swooning over one another – a peculiar pair matched in panto heaven!

Other notable performances were turned in by Tatsa Naban as the beautiful Genie of the Ring, Bob Smith as the Narrator with low-budget special effects and Graham Smith as the ever-spooky ghoulie!

This great show, suitable for all ages to enjoy & participate still has four more performances scheduled for December 11-12 and 17-18. “Oh no it doesn’t” – “Oh yes it does!”  Please note that due to the sudden and unforeseen closing of The Bed Pattaya, the family performance of “Aladdin” on Sunday December 12th will be relocated to The Venue Cabaret in Jomtien Complex at 3:30 p.m.  For further details visit www.pattayaplayers.org or email [email protected]