Fringe Box



Stage Dragon Review: Adult Panto – Don’t Read On If You’re Of A Sensitive Nature

Published on: 6 Dec, 2015
Updated on: 6 Dec, 2015

The adult panto has returned to Guildford with Aladdin Rub My Lamp for another rude, fun, clever, baudy year at The Back Room of the Star Inn in Quarry Street.

We sat expectantly waiting for the curtain to go up but there wasn’t one. It is the Guildford Fringe after all. We buzzed like excited children for the show to start and we were not disappointed.

The cast of eight kept us entertained all evening. Young, talented and full of fun, they worked hard and kept the energy going throughout.

The full cast of Aladdin Rub My Lamp in the opening number.

The full cast of Aladdin Rub My Lamp in the opening number. Photo by Matt Pereira Photography.

Aladdin Rub My Lamp is the story all children know but with many an adult twist to it. Do not go to this show if you are of a sensitive nature or can’t take baudy innuendo. You will be horrified and The Back Room at the Star Inn is a small place in which to be uncomfortable.

When EastEnder Widow Wanky cackles about “….seamen at my front entrance” or the oily Abanazar tells us “It’s just like Jim’ll Fix It but without Operation Yewtree”, you know that there are no holds barred.

Emperor Ming looking and sounding suspiciously like Prince Charles.

Emperor Ming looking and sounding suspiciously like Prince Charles. Photo by Matt Pereira Photography.

However, if you are 18-plus, male, female, young or old and have a good earthy sense of humour, you will enjoy it. Even the deputy mayor was laughing like a kid.

The 58-seat back room theatre is basic. Well, very basic – it is the back room of a pub after all – but comfortable. It’s good to have a drink in the historic, cosy pub – to be able to bring your drinks through to the back room and a meal before the show perhaps.

You do feel that you could easily be dragged into the show – isn’t that always the risk at panto – and as there are no children to leap up on the stage to sing scout songs, some poor individual in the front row is going to cop it!

A modern take on an ancient tale?

A modern take on an ancient tale? Photo by Matt Pereira Photogaphy.

The story is as banal as it is meant to be. The script and the jokes are equally as corny and stupidly childish as you could want. And no gratuitous swearing, so you could bring your aged mother along. Well, maybe not – you might have to explain the jokes to her as well.

Stand out performances were by the gloriously camp Wishee Washee played by Harry Mcleod and the cockney, East End dame Widow Wanky by Damian Escayg.

An EastEnd Widow Wanky in her garish finery

An East End dame Widow Wanky gives it large in her garish finery. Photo by Matt Pereira Photography.

In fact, they were all perfect for the panto with Stuart Vincent playing Aladdin, Samantha Hastings as the Princess, Alice Ferreira playing Genie of the Lamp and Spirit of the Ring, Andrew Fitch as Abanazar and Emperor Ming, Hilary Harwood playing Orla Long and Robert Whitelaw playing Saul Wright. The clever script was written by Chris Towndrow and it was directed on a shoestring by James Chalmers.

Aladdin Rub My Lamp – The Adult Panto is playing at The Back Room of the Star Inn up to December 31 (no shows on December 24, 25 or 26). Click here to book on line or call 0333 666 3366 (fees apply).

You could also go for a double adult panto dose. Nick Wyschna, the Guildford Fringe’s artistic director, is staging another adult panto ‘Dick’ at Woking’s HG Wells Conference and Events Centre on December 14 to 19. Booking details as above.

Star rating 4


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