The weekend of 6th to 8th of December once again saw Liphook enjoy a Pantomime by local group LAMPS. In fact not only enjoy but relish in that classic of pantomimes, “Aladdin”. With Sunday itself now becoming more popular than ever for audiences to find time to make the most of their leisure times, the Liphook Millennium Theatre was packed to the rafters.
This year’s LAMPS Christmas show saw local Bohunt student, Marcus Carter, take on the lead role of Aladdin. Marcus has grown in stature and confidence with LAMPS and showed this throughout his mature performance. Not for one minute was he daunted by the evil persuasions of his uncle Abanazer, played by LAMPS favourite, and chairman, Steve Baker. Steve opened the show with a great rendering of Coldplay’s “If I ruled the World”, which may have come off if he didn’t have that bungling sidekick, Kung-Fu, played brilliantly by David Lance.
Of course no pantomime would be the same without a Dame. The role of Widow Twankey was taken on by teenager Luca Whiteway. The moment he took to the stage, the audience took to him. Luca gave a grown up (and silly) performance and throughout the weekend his ad-libs became more outrageous. By the end of the show, he had the audience wrapped around his little finger, especially after his “Strictly” routine where he danced the Tango with “Anton-du Beke” to Ravel’s Bolero. The audience were in tears, with laughter I might stress, to see Twankey’s antics throughout the dance routine.
With a cast of twenty plus, it was great to see youngsters take on lead roles. Wishee Washee was played by Ethan McAuley, and he was ably supported by his dimwit henchmen, Hoo (Finn Connelly) and Wat (Nat Perfremont) who were chased throughout by the Palace Constables Con Tent and Con Phewzed, played by sisters April and Elize Charman-Amour. They were funny, energetic and thrilled the audience with their sand dance routine. Teenager Jasmine Browett not only choreographed the whole show, but also delighted Liphook with her role as Genie of the Ring.
Aladdin’s love interest, Princess Yasmin was played by Emily Shires, who gave a lovely solo rendering of “China in my Hand”. Aniela Joliffe played her hand-maiden So Shy, who was also the love interest of Wishee Washee. All in all, the cast of LAMPS were applauded by the audiences for giving them a thoroughly entertaining weekend.