We were invited to see Aladdin on the opening night which also doubled as press night at The Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire and here’s our account of our experience and the show. The theatre was buzzing with people all excited to experience the performance, many have routinely come every year for the last 12 years while others were coming for their first time. We saw couples, little kids with their families and their grandparents as well. Our advice, is to get to The Regent Theatre early, so that you get a great parking and walk calmly with the kids to the theatre. Upon arival, you could purchase the programme booklets for just £5. The booklet contains lots of information about other productions happening at the Regent, details about the Aladdin cast and their bio as well as some children’s activity sheets (which our kids loved). There are drink, snack and sourvenir stalls as well to enjoy for a minimal fee.
We headed to the press area which was at the Piano Bar to collect our tickets and have some light nibles. Thanks to the media team, our kids loved the themed cupcake, chocolate gold coins and their magic lamp key chain souvenir (which is hanging on their school bags now).
As we just got settled in and before you could say ‘Aye Up Aladdin’ (a phrase you would be saying through out the night), it was time for us to head to watch the show. We collected our 3D glasses as we entered in, and the kids immediately put it on. Some photo of us before the show started.
Photos and video’s are not allowed during the panto, but here’s a sneak peak video of the atmosphere of the place as well as some production photos given to us so that you can also get a feel of the performance.
Just before the show started
If you ask us, why go watch the show? Well there are just too many reasons to mention but let’s start with the fabulous stage designs, grand costumes, great vocals and the grandest of all… the special 3D effects and magic carpet routine which gave the show the extra edge. This does not include the localised jokes, banter and interactive chats between the actors and audience which Stoke-on-Trent is renowned for.
Without giving too much away, our kids were both scared and thrilled at times even ducking at the flying 3D objects which was coming towards us. We saw kids and other adults reaching out to press the ‘do not press button’ and being so involved. The best part about the panto is that both young and old are entertained with the jokes and banter and there are alot of local elements to it, mentioning a few football clubs and places which kept the crowd entertained.
Our favourite stars of the show, Christian Patterson as Widow Twanky and Jonny Wilkes as Aladdin
And need we say… our favourite costume of the whole set… made our kids laugh their heads off when Widow Twanky made her appearance
Parking is ample either arond the public car parks, do check the rules. Some might need you to pay even at night. We parked up at intu Potteries and that cost us £1 (its fixed rate after 6pm).
The Regent also provides binoculars (usually located at the front) for £1. This is a bargain as the kids love looking through it, even if you have front row seats.
Here’s a little bio about Jonathan Wilkes as well as Christian Patterson
About the cast
Before we headed to the show, our 7 and 4-year-old they kept asking if both Jonny Wilkes, Christian Patterson and Simon Nehan were going to be acting in the play. Our kids still remembered watching them from last year’s panto, Cinderella. Aladdin boasts of some fabulous cast and crew which make the show so magical and memorable. Each and every one of them made us roar with laugter and enchant us with their beautiful and glittery costumes and make-up.
The beautiful Yazmin Wood as Princess Jasmine who sang amazingly
This year Jonny is Aladdin, Christian is Widow Twanky (we just have to mention that her costume was very fashionable and flattered her figure perfectly!), Simon Nehan is Emperor Ming, Kai Owen is the villainous Abanazar while Yazmin Wood is Princess Jasmine and Amanda Coutts is the glittery Scheherazade. There were also a lot of talented young and upcoming performers from The Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts who did ever so well.
The ever to tallented Simon Nehan was Emperor Ming
The cast at the finale
How do I book tickets to watch Aladdin?
Tickets are now on sale and available from the Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or by visiting ATG’s website here.
How long is the show for and what are the timings?
The show will be opening on Friday, 15 December and will run until Sunday, 7 January 2018.
Evening shows are at 7pm while matinee shows will be at 2pm. There will be some morning 11am shows as well as audio description, touch tour and signed performance. Please check the website for full details on timings.
How much do the tickets cost?
Tickets are priced from £12 to £34.50
* Thank you to The Regent Theatre for the production photos. We were also given theatre tickets in return for the review