Get Aladdin – ATS Fringe theatre in exile at Landor SW9
When Aladdin and his widowed mum stumble on a magic lamp, they find themselves pursued by the evil Abanazer and a detective on secondment from G4S. They stow away to the ancient Chinese province of Hao Hung and are joined in a battle of love and wits by the Emperor, his gay hot-geek son, and a lascivious genie. Filthier than a late night takeaway, sweeter than satay sauce, this is a magical festive show with all the trimmings and a generous helping of MSG.
Last year was my first time at the ATS (Above the Stag) Pantomime. This year the gay theatre group is in an exile (of sorts) – a stone’s thrown from the Clapham High Street gay bars – the Two Brewers and KazBar. Last year I saw this company perform Sleeping Beauty which I greatly enjoyed. It was good to see several familiar faces from that production in this cast – Greg Airey; Philip Lawrence and Matthew Baldwin.
The script was by Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper – who are getting to be old hands at this annual game.
There were some great gags – and some lovely playing but I thought the I thought the script a tad long and the plot a tad less well honed than last year. That is not to say I did not enjoy myself, I did. I was with a group of 10 friends and we got into the spirit of the occasion. The actors worked their socks off and gave us some wonderful slap-stick moments and also some high camp double entendre in the best tradition of the Carry On films as much as Panto.
I very much hope ATS survive into 2013 when I understand they will be getting a new permanent home. Gay fringe theatre groups really do matter to theatre and to the gay community. I hope we are all willing to put our hands in our pockets and our bums on seats to support them
Good luck to all you guys – and thanks, for your commitment made it a great evening.