Aladdin - performed December 1986

By John Morley

Performed with the kind permission of Samuel French (London)

Director - Dennis Murfitt
Musical Director - Patience Ling


(in order of appearance)

Strong Pong Bernie Brindley
Wishee Washee Twankey Christopher Mason
Bamboo Adrian Bolton
Typhoo Brenda Chapman
Aladdin Twankey Alison Brett
Widow Twankey Dave Turrell
Chopsuey the Twelfth John Watson
Dragona the Thirteenth Viv Wheatley
Princess Say Wen Leslie Butcher
So Shi Kim Aves
Sing Hi Tammy Web
Chow Mein Kevin Brown
Prince Pekoe Allison Hawkins
The Great Abanaza Jerry Eldridge
Rick Shaw Linda Brindley
Mazda - The genie of the lamp Bill Chapman
Madam Flash Bang Gillian Riley
Mazawattee Lindsey Cobb
The Egyptian Mummy Max Eldridge
Chorus Jill Baxter
Sally Beeson
Jane Cousins
Marion Harvey
Susan Moore
Terry Cousins
Chris Meade
David Sexton
Youngsters Maria Hudson
Patrina Lane
Maria Lane
Elizabeth Williams
Tony Brindley

Production Team

Val Taylor, Viv Wheatley, Judi Hussey, Jenny Rollings, Michael Monaghan, Dennis Murfitt, Bruce Emeny, Maurice Barber, Peggy Barber, Robert Baker, John Honeywood, Jenny Baker, Jenny Glayzer, Tracey Amos, Lisa Scattergood, Patience Ling, Viv Wheatley, and other volunteers not mentioned.

The Pantomime

The pantomime follows the outline of the well known story, and includes a trip to Egypt, adventures with a sinister Mummy and a Ghost, a haughty Fairy and a hint of Ali Baba as well as set pieces such as a magic show and a "slosh hurling' episode.


The pantomime season has started with a Chinese cracker of a panto – Aladdin, performed by the Manifest Theatre Group at the Manifest Theatre, Manningtree. This sell-out production (Saturday, November 29, to December 6) has entertainment stamped all over it.

From the moment Wishee Washee, played by Christopher Mason, wins the audience over with his loveable, cheeky, boyish manner, you could sense the warmth of the players coming over to a audience, all too ready to join the fun. Adrian Bolton and Brenda Chapman, as Bamboo and Typhoo, the Chinese policeman, make the most of their knockabout foolery. Dave Turrell’s riotously funny Widow Twankey is a joy; his instincts for timing holds the action together splendidly. Alison Brett makes a lovely, leggy Aladdin whose effervescent personality shines through all the fortunes and misfortunes that befall this lowly laundry boy.
Lesley Butcher radiates and almost demands affection as the sweet smiling Princess Say Wen. Some of the chorus numbers were rather static but, on the whole, the show moved along with a good variation of pace under the brisk direction of Dennis Murfitt. Superb musicianship in the pit was supplied by Patience Ling, piano, and Greg Garrod, percussion, pigtails and all.

This is the society’s first venture into pantomime and understandably its shrewd director, Dennis Murfitt, has sought the underpinning of a well-established, not to say, well-worn script as a launching pad. One or two of the front-of-tabs routines have long ago lost any freshness and spontaneity they may once have possessed – the football club illustrative puns should have been decently buried ages ago. But there is so much invention and imagination in the many topical and local colour references decorating the show that an original home-grown scenario and dialogue scheme could easily spring from the lessons learned this time round.
The cramped stage hampers large-scale movement but the colourful array of costumes, some dazzlingly extravagant, some deceptively but elegantly simple, fill the acting area with sparkle and glitter against the muted tones of the backgrounds.

Patience Ling on the piano and Greg Garrod on percussion keep the music fresh and bright and positive while managing to liase with the various idiosyncrasies of the singes. Bruce Emeny’s lighting design does wonders in a limited space.
The presentation has that indispensable asset, a first-rate Dame in Dave Turrell’s genially coy and unflummoxed Widow Twankey. His command of the grotesque character and the audience is splendid, and his Les Dawson rubber face is hilarious.
Magnificent too is Jerry Eldridge’s villainous and devilishly handsome Abanazar. Endowed with natural presence and resonant voice, the performance never puts a foot wrong and his conversion to “All things bright and beautiful” is the subtlest and funniest single episode of the evening.
Viv Wheatley is an imperious old bat of an Empress and John Watson suffers nicely as her hen-pecked Emperor with a comic cops paring of Adrian Bolton and Brenda Chapman as Bamboo and Typhoo to add to the slapstick. Christopher Mason is an engaging and infectiously cheerful Wishee. Alison Brett’s amazing china-doll eyes light up her personable Aladdin especially when set against Leslie Butcher’s velvety-voiced Say Wen. Among the major characters Bernie Brindley’s fearsome executioner Strong Pong looms large and Linda Brindley’s dainty Rick Shaw threatens to put all the other legs of view into the Peking shade in this cheerful, if now and again, slow-paced show.
Jimmy James

Photo Shoot

If you have any photos from this production, then please let us know.

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