One of the oldest and arguably one of the most popular pantomimes, Aladdin features a story which first hit the London stage almost 230 years ago but which has a much older pedigree than that.
The story revolves around a magical lamp hidden in a cave filled with gold and jewels and inhabited by a genie with the power to grant wishes to whoever possesses it.
It is also a love story and a moral tale of good triumphing over evil.
Today’s modern pantomime version may follow the basic story line but it inhabits a very different theatrical world with bawdy humour, double entendres, outrageous characters and of course music and dance.
Aimed at children but with plenty for mums and dads to enjoy the show is a bright and breezy look at a world of myths and legends.
The version as the Grand is certainly bright and breezy with colourful costumes worn but even more colourful characters and a strong portion of speciality acts thrown in for good measure.
There are puppets, magic, a giant genie of the lamp and an hilarious genie of the magic ring.
But perhaps more important that anything when it comes to panto the show moves at a brisk pace keeping the laughter flowing from start to finish.
The cast includes many entertainers clearly comfortable with this type of show. The outrageous genie of the ring is played by Tony Maudsley best known for his appearances in the hit comedy show Benidorm.
His clashes with arch-villain Abanazar played by Swansea boy, Stefan Pejic were hilarious and he made the most of every one of his lines, playing to the audience throughout.
There was some delightful comedy from Matt Edwards as Wishee Washee the simple son of Widow Twankey. He brought his obvious comedy and magic skills to the role creating a lovable character who was an instant hit with the children in the audience.
Pantomime Dame Widow Twankey was played by popular local performer Kevin Johns who has appeared in almost two dozen pantomimes usually as the dame.
Kevin is always comfortable with audiences at the Grand and knows how to work with his audience.
The love story involves Aladdin played by Luke Higgins and Princess Jasmine played by Daisy Twells. Although they were in many ways the heart of the story they tended to pay second fiddle to the comedy.
The magic carpet scene wowed the audience and the appearances of Dooby Duck and friends kept the children laughing.
Laughter was also in bucket loads when it came to the madcap performance of the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Gold rings were replaced by toilet rolls and maids a milking etc replaced by leaks, rubber gloves, rugby balls etc while the four performers who played all twelve days between them, seemed to be having as much fun as the audience as things became more and more chaotic.
This was opening night and I am sure minutes will be trimmed from the running time as it beds in but this was an ensemble show which worked, leaving the audience happy and satisfied with a good, solid evening’s entertainment.
Until January 14
More pantos and Christmas shows