Braemar panto’s 25th anniversary

A sparkling performance of Aladdin marked Braemar pantos 25th anniversary
A sparkling performance of Aladdin marked Braemar pantos 25th anniversary

Braemar’s pantomime has celebrated its 25th anniversary. In 1993 producer, John Macpherson, established a popular tradition which has become an integral part of village life.

For the anniversary show, a strong and committed cast presented a sparkling performance of the traditional tale of Aladdin.

In the title role was the capable Aimi Blueman giving a fine performance as Aladdin. The indomitable Widow Twankey was ably and comically played by Roger Sudworth taking on the mantle of Dame for the first time and delivering a superb performance complemented by fabulous costumes and make-up.

It was a family event for the Strachan family. Original cast member from 1993, Claire Strachan, led the action as the believable boo-able baddie Abanazar who milked every opportunity. Daughter Morgan provided magic as the genie of the ring with sister Katie playing Aladdin’s love interest, Princess Jasmine with panto stalwart Richard Baker taking on the role of her father, the Emperor.

As we are whisked from Braemar to the stunning backdrop of old Peking courtesy of a very talented set design and painting team led by Georgina Errington, we encounter the comedy duo of Sergeant Ping (Leslie Hall) and PC Pong (Pete Mulvey). Their arrival by scooter with out of control klaxons on their helmets and their rendition of “We run them in” had the audience in stitches.

And there was a fine performance and more comedy from the hugely-talented Calan Daniels who engaged and entertained as Nobby the Panda causing much consternation in Widow Twankey’s laundry. Nobby’s minder Ciaran Johnston was taking on his first principal role as a wonderfully colourful and amusing Wishee Washee.

Clever use was made of the limited stage succeeding in magical appearances from the genie of the ring and the genie of the lamp (Amy Hall) both ascending from below in the traditional puff of smoke. The flying carpet scene made full use of excellent drone footage.

The happy, colourful production was enhanced by first class musical accompaniment by Dave Frew and Angus McNicol and a lively chorus.