By Leela Humphreys

OPENING the show with a rendition of ‘Let us Entertain You’, CAMP Theatre did just that with their 30th anniversary production of ‘Sinbadaladdin’.

Directed by Steve Jefferies, the panto’s cast included many original CAMP Theatre members alongside newcomers and youngsters.

Sinbadaladdin, written by Richard Lloyd, cleverly weaves the two Arabian Nights tales of Sinbad and Aladdin – giving plenty of scope for mistaken identity and shenanigans. The audience is presented with not one, but two principal boys, two pantomime villains and two genies.

Set in old Peking, Widow Twankee, manageress of The Happy Tub Chinese Laundry, is up to her usual mischief aided by her witless assistant Wishee-Washee. When her son Aladdin falls in love with the beautiful Princess Jasmine, he incurs the wrath of the Sultan and Sultana. To make matters worse he has to see off the evil magician, Abanazar who proves to be a dangerous rival for Jasmine’s hand in marriage.

Notable performances came from Simon Hill as the wicked Abanazar and Jo Atack as the domineering Sultana, No-Lo-Fat. With Hugh Parker ably playing the role of the scheming Widow Twankee, Katy Lewis-Tuxford (Aladdin) and Lauren Crabb (Sinbad) were both suitably energetic in their roles as principal boys.

New members of the company made a favourable impression: Liz Berg played the villainous Mrs Cheng with great vigour and Trish Conbeer sparkled as a cockney Slave of the Lamp. Mark Tilden displayed his skills as Slave of the Ring and Maia Arulvasagam was enchanting as Princess Jasmine. Comic relief was provided by Angela Dechicha’s Hoo-Poo and Glenda Ellis’s Hee-Pong, Chris James’ downtrodden Wishee-Washee, and Steve Jefferies in an impeccable performance as the hen-pecked Ming the Mirthless. There were cameo roles for Penny Prisk as Noo-Noo, the delightful tap-dancing panda and John Kendall, the strong silent executioner, Chip-Chop-Ow. Tony Bailey as The Grand Vizier and Becky Davies provided strong support in their roles.

The Yangtze Pirates were wonderfully rumbustious and noisy, and The Ensemble sing and dance their way through flawlessly. With over eleven songs and dances to accompany, the five- piece band, The Peking Pluckers were kept busy and did an excellent job. Steve Jefferies’s adaptation of the songs and Sally Daulton’s clever choreography both worked well, and Lauren Crabb deserves a special mention for combining her role as Sinbad with playing keyboards in the band. A shout out too for Katy Lewis-Tuxford whose strong vocals enrich the singing.

Recognition must go as always to the back-stage team who worked so hard to produce the pantomime, provide the scenery, sound, special effects,and lighting. Costumes were outstanding and full credit must go to Trish Conbeer and her assistants, Helen Bullen and Ruth James, make up by Emma Grange and Becky Davies was also fabulous. A big thanks also go to the volunteers who give up their time to organise the refreshments and man front of house.

Sinbadaladdin was a sumptuous show which afforded an ideal escape from the wet, gloomy, Cornish weather. I must find my magic lamp to make a wish that CAMP Theatre will be entertaining us with pantomimes for many years to come!