Nothing says Christmas Like a Christmas Panto. As a kid it was a tradition with my own parents to go and see one every year at Christmas time. So it was no surprise that I of course wanted to carry on this tradition and take mine to see one too. They’ve both never been to see one before and due to my little boys additional needs the thought was some what a anxious one. So when we heard that the Bristol Hippodrome was offering a relaxed performance of the Aladdin Pantomime designed for people who have Autistim, sensory and communication disorders, a learning disability or for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment.
At the beginning of the relaxed performance a cast member came out and explained and demonstrated some of the special effects and noises that were going to be used thru out the show. They even went as far as to show and name the people who would be making the noises, which I thought was a lovely idea. Being able to attend a relaxed performance was a huge game changer for us as it mean’t that we were able to take my little boy to enjoy the show without feeling on edge about how he may struggle with the crowds of people, the noises or just sitting down for a period of time. The whole atmosphere really relaxed and everyone just seemed really accepting which made for a happy little boy.
The first scene of Aladdin is set at Abanazar’s Egyptian temple. There is so darkness mixed with some very effective lighting all of which instantly drawed both me, my partner and the kids in. The first scene also helped give the audience a idea as to who Abanazar’s character was and thanks to Marti Pellow wonderful acting the audience were soon booing at the baddie of the show.
Next up to quickly help lighten the mood a little and definitely the kids favourite was Wishee Washee played by Joe Pasquale. He did a wonderful job of playing Wishee Washee and was hilarious. One moment particularly stood out was a romantic scene between Princess Jasmine played by Hayley Tammaddon and Aladdin played by Alexis Gerred. The scene was suppose to be all romantic, with some light humour from Wishee Washee but Princess Jasmin couldn’t help but be slightly human like us audience and was laughing so much that she struggled to sing the next song. All of which only made the audience laugh more.
Throughout the show there was a mix of jokes that suited everyone, both us and the kids were laughing on many occasions thru out. Some of the best jokes came from Wishee Washee as mentioned above and another favourite of ours Widow Twankey ( played by Davis Robbins). As in true Panto style Widow Twankey couldn’t help but show off those wonderfully outrageous pantomime dame’s outfits. My little girl couldn’t help but comment on more than one of her wardrobe choices.
Both me and my partner was amazed at some of the special effects thru out the show there was a brillant carpet scene, which I won’t spoil it too much but was magical to watch. However one special effect that especially stood out to us was the Genie. He was fairly big and looked fantastic if you compared him to the likes of the films. Somehow in a puff of smoke he would appear and disappear, it was so quick neither of us knew how they managed it but it was really clever to watch.
One thing I will mention however is that although as mentioned above the special effects in the show were incredible thru out. There was a few points where my two little ones got a bit scared. There was a 3D moment just over half way thru which featured some rats and spiders etc that my little ones weren’t too fond off, as well as a giant snake towards the end. The show was still really enjoyable for us all but thought was worth mentioning for anyone who might be considering attending with younger children. We took ear defenders for both the kids which helped.
Overall though Aladdin at The Bristol Hippodrome was a great way to start off the yearly Christmas Panto Tradition with the kids. It was a really fun and enjoyable show that had us laughing through out. The audience interaction was fantastic with Wishee Washee encouraging the kids to respond to his “Whatcha kids” with “Whatcha Wishee!” and even right at the very end they got a few select children on stage to take part in a game. We would highly recommend seeing the show if you can.
Aladdin runs until January 7th, Click here for more information and to book tickets.
Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets for the purpose of our review. However as always all opinions and views expressed are honest and that of my own.