Lynchmereans' pantomime Aladdin - review

REVIEW BY Judith Turner

Monday, 6th January 2020, 8:56 am
Updated Monday, 6th January 2020, 8:59 am
Photo by The Remarkable Studio, Peter Searight

Aladdin was the choice of author, Dame and co-director Frederick Tibbs who managed to cram all this into his life and full time job as a Doctor in the Accident and Emergency department.

Perhaps it is the stress levels that he works under that helped to produce a fast moving pseudo-political pantomime (Aladdin's words!) that filled the stage and the Hardman Hoyle all for all performances just after Christmas,attracting children as well as adults who have learnt over the past few year's of Tibbs' productions that there is something - well, actually, quite a lot - in the words for all ages to laugh, clap,cheer, boo or hiss.

The theme of the 2020 Aladdin was the wish of one of the provinces to leave and how the Emperor and Empress, Christopher and Sylvia Tibbs were going to stop this, but in a method not proposed either by Theresa May or Boris Johnson,as they wished to marry their daughter Princess Jasmine, to the leader of the province, an idea dropped very quickly when they met the very rich and eligible new style Aladdin.

Fredeick Tibbs must have been one of those who longed for Brexit to be sorted so that he could finalise his story but the performances came sooner than Brexit!

Frederick, who acts elsewhere as well, stood out as the Dame able to attract the audience’s attention even while standing still, with a quick ability to ad lib when others forget a word or say someone else's and also to encourage the audience to cheer Aladdin, a confident Eve Sully, and boo Abanaza, aka Abanana trying to get the magic lamp with the unhelpful 'help' of his student Iago, Lilla Boxall. They nearly succeeded too.

For a production with such a young cast, it moved extremely well, with no hanging around as can be suffered in these cases. Occasionally the words were lost in the speed ,they were spoken or sung, but that could also have been a problem for the older audience who had to check the latest pop songs to appreciate the cleverness of it all.

The Costumes and the scenery were exceptional for a village pantomime, and it really is a village pantomime . Whole families take part. Three Tibbs, two Masons two Martins, 4 Aukim-Hasties performing and that is not counting the same surnames that appear on the list of workers behind the scenes. The Lynchmerean productions since 1947 were listed, and cover every pantomime that one could possibly think of although Aladdin only features 6 times. It is proof that it is both fun to do and watch that the productions are still continuing with such enthusiasm,

The performances were also touched with sadness. During the last year three of the greatest supporters have died. Anne Tibbs, grandmother of the author, spent the last 60 plus year working as front of house manage , but that covered so much more. Subscriptions, streamer orders, petty cash, cast presents, programme , posters, just for starters.

Janet and Murray Sears also both put in years of work in different ways and when they could no longer do that they came to every performance! But the Lynchmerreans continue and they will be missed.

REVIEW BY Judith Turner