Panto full of eastern promise

051211 Youth theatre pantomime at the regal theatre bathgate
051211 Youth theatre pantomime at the regal theatre bathgate

Christmas is almost upon us, so what better way to get into the spirit of it all than to catch a pantomime - Millennium Stage School’s Aladdin At the Bathgate Regal.

Bursting with energy, these students worked the stage with confidence and flair supported by a robust script packed full of cheesy jokes, familiar local references and a feast of clever dialogue that zipped merrily along.

Aladdin (Rachel Armit) and Wishee Washee (Heather Gourdie) complemented each other well as brothers – Wishee acting as the perfect joker to Aladdin’s straight man. Wishee, a particularly cheeky chappie, demonstrated some impressive comic business including the moment where, due to being a little on the diminutive side, he had to climb on top of several copies of the ‘Yellow Pages’ to reach So Shy (Nicole Wood) and give her a kiss. The family trio was then completed by Widow Twankee, played with great aplomb by Scott Coltman. (I have to say, should Allan Stewart ever retire from the King’s, this gifted young man would be his ideal replacement). The icing on the cake was the hilarious song and dance routine, “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” where, clad in a red sparkly dress, feather boa and striking blue wig, Coltman cavorted around the stage with the evil Abanazar (Franklin Donoghue) in tow. He was playing the audience like a grand piano.

In the second act there were a couple of highlights worth mentioning, one of which was Abanazar’s suitably villainous version of “Bad Romance” re-named, “I Want That Magic Lamp.”Also, the King (Callum Herpich) and Zilla Flack (Stephanie McMullan) performed an amusing ‘Blind Date’ sketch with the princess Jasmine (Natasha Benson) and her suitors. Herpich was perfectly cast in the role of the King and although he was having to age up, his emerging skill in character acting shone through and he reminded me of a rather benign John Cleese.

As with all good pantomimes, all the wrongs were righted and everything worked out in the end. Aladdin claimed the lamp, he married his true princess, Abanazer turned into a goodie and Widow Twankee bought a new red wig to celebrate! A wonderful night of fun and entertainment, Millenium Stage School have defin-itely got talent!