Aladdin, Towngate Theatre, 2010/11

The Stage – By Mary Redman

Brad Fitt’s witty script has many references to Cheryl Cole, while Strictly Come Dancing features in slithering Samantha Hughes’s ever so snooty, ever so sexy, upper crust Empress. Dungeon-voiced Ross Mullan’s Abanazar, seeking world domination, is foiled by Sophie Ladds’ funny Geordie Slave of the Ring’s canny eye.

When you think it can’t get any stronger there’s energy-packed director/producer/choreographer Simon Fielding’s Aladdin, partnering Cameron Jack’s gloriously tiny Glaswegian power house of a Widow Twankey with his ridiculous jokes.

Evolution’s excellent scenery and costumes give a genuine three dimensional Chinese impression. The glittering transformation has another talent to watch in the jaw dropping moves of flying Genie Miguel Angel.

The speaking chorus and energetic dance team of all ages add more active ingredients to the mixture.

Another ingredient is the family, community and volunteer ethos of this municipal theatre. This show never stints itself or stops giving for an instant. It is a credit to the whole on and offstage team. There’s even Imagine Theatre’s dancing elephant and a truly amazing dragon adding value for ticket money.

Man in control Simon Fielding wants this show to have West End musical theatre values. It does. Is Brad Fitt his pen name too? (No, it’s mine! Brad Fitt)