© 2006, 2011 Richard Linley.
Pantomime in two acts. Running time: About 2 hours.
No, it's not Disney's version. Most of the story is set in China, not the Middle East, and the princess is named Jade, not Jasmine, but this Aladdin is well-grounded in historical precedent. It is a holiday pantomime in the tradition of dozens of other retellings of Aladdin before it, the earliest of which were performed in the UK hundreds of years ago. It is a musical comedy that is sure to delight young and old alike. It tells the story of a young man, Aladdin, besotted with the princess but too poor to marry her, who is lured by an evil sorcerer, Abanazar, into a mysterious cave full of riches, only to be trapped there by the sorcerer when Aladdin fails to yield up a certain old lamp. The lamp, however, is home to a powerful genie who frees Aladdin from the cave and makes him fabulously wealthy. Of course, the sorcerer connives to regain the lamp, kidnap the princess, and force a final battle between the forces of good and pretty-darned-bad in far away Egypt.
As we follow Aladdin on his adventures, we also meet his outrageous mother, the laundress Widow Twankey; her brother, Aladdin's Uncle Wishy Washy; the princess's protective nursemaid, Nanny Fanny; the all-knowing and oft-rhyming Genie of the Ring; the Emperor of China; his long-suffering assistant, the Grand Vizier; and two buffoonish imperial guardsmen, Yin and Yang.
Oh, and there's a camel.
Principals (in order of appearance)
- Abanazar, a wicked sorcerer
- The Genie of the Ring
- Wishy Washy, Aladdin's uncle
- Princess Jade, the Chinese emperor's daughter
- Nanny Fanny, nursemaid to Princess Jade
- Sergeant Yin, a guardsman
- Corporal Yang, a guardsman
- Camel, a puppet
- Widow Twankey*, Aladdin's mother, a laundress
- Sum Ho Kee Guy, Emperor of China
- The Grand Vizier
- The Genie of the Lamp
- Chorus of Children
Chorus of Townspeople, Imperial Servants, Laundry Workers, Skeletons, Dragons, Hotel Workers and Guests, Street Vendors, Soldiers, and Guards