Aladdin at Wembley Community Centre

Aladdin at Wembley Community Centre


Posted 2023-10-03 by grooverfollow

Fri 20 Oct 2023 - Sun 05 Nov 2023

Christina Edwards plays the title role in the pantomime Aladdin.

Get ready to be whisked away on a roller-coaster ride of magic, music, mirth and mayhem – Wembley Theatre Company is staging the pantomime Aladdin this October and November. Written by Tony Nicholls and directed by Bryce Manning at the Wembley Community Centre, the story follows young Aladdin who wants to marry Princess Badroulbadour but can’t because he has no money.

When he acquires a magic lamp, he discovers a genie within and soon has all the money in the world. But Aladdin loses it all to the nasty Abanazar and is cast away, leaving the princess to be married to someone else. Aladdin must find a way back and, in the process, learns that love is more important than money if he wants to marry the princess and destroy Abanazar.

Aladdin {Christina Edwards, left}, Widow Twankey {Peter Niblett} and Princess Badroulbadour {Tamzin Black} in the pantomime Aladdin.

“People are familiar with the Disney version of Aladdin with magic carpets but our version is in the traditional pantomime style,” Bryce said. “We follow the basic plot in every Aladdin story but include more songs, local jokes and some humour that, hopefully, children won’t understand.”

While directing Aladdin is Bryce’s main focus, he also steps up to the stage in the show. “I’ve taken on the role of Abanazar because the original actor became unavailable,” he said. “I secretly enjoy playing the baddies and Abanazar is a really bad baddie – and I expect to get lots of ‘boos’ from the audience!”

The evil Abanazar {Bryce Manning, centre} with his minions Mills {Miranda Arnisan, left} and Boon {Montana Kearsley} in the pantomime Aladdin.

Involved in acting, directing and theatre teaching since 1984, Bryce trained as an actor at the University of Western Sydney before moving back to Perth to start his teaching career. He formed the Wembley Theatre Company in 1996 and has been producing, directing, writing and acting in the company’s annual productions for more than 25 years. The company’s version of Old Mother Hubbard won a Finley Award for best production in 1997.

“I’ve been doing this for 26 years so I must enjoy it,” Bryce said. “I love Tony Nicholls’ pantomimes and I love working with new, inexperienced actors. I love watching them grow in confidence as actors and the excitement they have.”

Ella Hardy-Atkins, left, as the genie Superbus and Christina Edwards, as Aladdin.

In a study of the origins and practices of Victorian pantomime, Professor Kate Newey from the University of Birmingham’s Department of Drama and Theatre Arts highlighted the appeal of pantomimes: “Not a lot has changed since pantomimes began; they still offer the chance for the audience to be silly at a time of general relaxation with the family. We think of the Victorians [in 19th century England] as being very straight-laced and morally proper but, from their pantomimes, we can see that they had fun enjoying the comedy of pantomime’s slapstick humour and the often grotesque violence of the stage fighting, not to mention the risqué costumes, all of which are conventions of today’s pantomimes and popular entertainment programmes.

The path of true love doesn’t run smoothly for Aladdin {Christina Edwards} and Princess Badroulbadour {Tamzin Black}.

“As well as offering a commentary on political and economic life, pantomimes were, and still are, jolly good fun. Stemming from a time when theatre was very heavily censored, pantomime developed out of the need to satirise, affording grown-ups the permission to be silly and there aren’t really very many other opportunities for this which explains why they continue to be so popular. They are entertaining for children with their fairytale stories and spectacle, meaning they attract a diverse theatre audience kept entertained by local references, including local business advertisements representing the birth of product placement.”

Aladdin plays at 7pm October 20, 27 and November 3 and 2pm October 21, 22, 28, 29, November 4 and 5. Tickets are $20, $16 concession – book at . The pantomime is showing at the Wembley Community Centre, 40 Alexander Street, Wembley.


!date 20/10/2023 -- 5/11/2023
265102 - 2023-10-02 07:38:39


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