Entertainment Arts And Books

Michelle Loewenstein
2 minute read
6 Nov 2013
6:00 am

Riding ‘oppie carpet’

Michelle Loewenstein

A bad guy who lets the Guptas hitch a ride with him, and a dame who uses Omo as a beauty product these were just a couple of quirks added to a South African version of the well-known tale of Aladdin. Janice Honeyman’s Magical Pantomime Spectacular Aladdin, on at The Mandela at Joburg Theatre, delivered […]

RUDE AWAKENING. Jeremy Mansfield as villain Abanazar sprays the audience with a water pistol.

A bad guy who lets the Guptas hitch a ride with him, and a dame who uses Omo as a beauty product these were just a couple of quirks added to a South African version of the well-known tale of Aladdin.

Janice Honeyman’s Magical Pantomime Spectacular Aladdin, on at The Mandela at Joburg Theatre, delivered everything that you’d expect from a panto, including bling, baddies, and plenty of elaborate sets and costumes to keep the little ones entertained.

While many jokes were aimed at the grown-ups in the audience, it was the diminutive theatre devotees who were left breathless with excitement as each act delivered dazzling costumes, sparkling sets and energetic music numbers. In typical panto style, they were encouraged to boo the bad guys and sing along to catchy songs as the over-the-top tale unfolded before them.

Be warned, if you’re a purist who wants to see the story of Aladdin told just as Disney did it, then this isn’t the show for you. This version takes quite a few liberties with its version of events, while still keeping the basic plotline intact.

GENIE-US. Christopher Jaftha (left) as Aladdin and Timothy Moloi as Genie Jabulani Joller.

GENIE-US. Christopher Jaftha (left) as Aladdin and Timothy Moloi as Genie Jabulani Joller.

The cast included many recognisable faces, with Jeremy Mansfield playing the part of the evil villain Agge-Nee-A Abanazar and Timothy Moloi as the silky voiced Genie Jabulani Joller. Christopher Jaftha’s Aladdin gave the audience a slick hero to support as he performed Michael Jackson moves and stole the heart of his leading lady Chop Suzy, played by Stefania du Toit. However it was definitely Mansfield who stole the show. His appearance on stage elicited wild applause and cheers from crowd.

By the end of the show the cast had won everyone over, and managed to get the entire theatre on its feet for the closing numbers. If the sparkling eyes of the kids in the audience were anything to go by as they skipped out of the Joburg Theatre, then this one is definitely a must for a family or school outing.