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It’s time for the annual panto and this time Janice Honeyman has jumped back into the world of Aladdin with a cast that dazzles.
There’s enough expertise on the production side to make it both swing and sing with Timothy le Roux as both resident director and choreographer and Roelof Colyn, this year’s music director for the third time teaming up with the panto queen.
“We’re like two old royal musical queens,” giggles Janice about their enthusiasm for the music that has to light up the show and keep both those who want to be merry and others who thrill when wallowing in sentiment, happy.
“Our enthusiasm is equal,” says Janice. They have a good mix of old and new and of course a Justin Bieber song for the fanclub. It’s about music that’s recognisable, it’s about local that’s always lekker, it’s about songs that pierce the hearts of both young and old, and it’s those Honeyman script nuggets that makes local pantomime so deliciously our own.
Grab your magic carpet and go on an exciting adventure with Aladdin as he ventures into the Cave of Treasures to retrieve the legendary lamp containing the most outrageous Genie (Timothy Moloi) of them all! But watch out for the evil sorcerer, Abanazar (Jeremy Mansfield), who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the lamp so he can become the most powerful man in the universe…
Once again, writer/director Janice Honeyman has gathered some of the finest musical theatre talent in the country. Christopher Jaftha and his cheeky brother, Wishee Washee, played by the irrepressible Bongi Mthombeni, another Honeyman favourite. This year’s dame is new to panto, Capetonian Darron Araujo, and he hopes to pull off the colourful and outrageous “dame” as Aladdin’s widowed mother.
With the rest of the energetic ensemble, they’re all in a rhythm because they know the score but they don’t let their guard down or allow the energy of those in rehearsal to flag.
This is a huge ship that has to be magnificently steered and delicately balanced with Honeyman, Le Roux and Colyn.
And just when they’re all smiling and sailing smoothly on the high seas of showbiz, they step on to the stage, says old hand Le Roux, “and there’s a potplant in the way...”
• Aladdin opens on the stage of The Mandela at Joburg Theatre on October 30 and runs until December 29.