The highlight for me and the standout performance of the night goes to Zoe Birkett who plays the Spirit of the Ring. Fresh from the West End and the Moulin Rouge, Birkett is every inch the accomplished performer with a voice to tear the roof off the place! There were many musical numbers lead by Birkett, including ‘Domino’, ‘Don’t You Worry About a Thing’ and a small helping of ‘Defying Gravity’. If ever there was another contender to play Elphaba, then Birkett really needs to make her way to the Emerald City very soon. Incredible!
Wolverhampton Panto favourites Tam Ryan, who plays Wishee Washee……this year and Ian Adams as Dame Dot Twankey delivered on every point with comedic routines, including a rather messy visit to the launderette involving soap suds and water…….I think you can guess how that ended up! Ryan is a complete professional, throwing out hilarious one liners, involving the audience and carrying the show on his shoulders. Adams provides us with some wonderful costumes throughout, my personal favourites being launderette themed offerings displaying the words ‘Hairy Non Bio’ and ‘Manish’. The rapport between the two was very natural and made for an enjoyable Pantomime.
Aladdin (Ben Cajee) and Jasmine (Sofie Anne) provided the basis of the story and it’s their relationship that is at the forefront. I did feel that the chemistry wasn’t quite there and some of the lines between them fell a little flat at points. We didn’t have time to become invested in their relationship evolving, it felt quite rushed. Anne has an incredible singing voice and particularly shines during her rendition of ‘Confident’.