Compass Theatre, Ickenham
12-29 December 2013
Reviewed by Toby Mallowan
I am a father of two girls aged 6 and 4 and we went to see the 7:30pm showing of Aladdin at the Compass Theatre in Ickenham. We bravely struggled through the traffic to get to the theatre (from Iver Heath to Ickenham – taking just under 1 hour). Despite this we arrived with plenty of time to collect our tickets and get a drink at the bar to relax before the show started.
The Compass Theatre is a nice and relaxing community theatre, the staff were polite and attentive, although there was limited seating in the bar area, the girls didn’t mind. At twenty past seven we were invited to take our seats in the hall. The seats were very comfortable for all three of us. I have long legs so often have issues with the lack of leg room with pull out seating but this wasn’t the case here. We had a good view of the full stage (we sat slightly off to the left of centre of the stage). The show was delayed due to the traffic and we eventually kicked off about 15 minutes later than scheduled.
The set design used an innovative digital backdrop, this worked well for the show, there were some nice touches with the backdrops being animated to keep it fresh. There is a nice touch with some graffiti on the emperor’s palace.
The show had a small cast of 9 named actors and a chorus of local children. The show opened to Abanazar giving an introduction and setting the scene. The actor who plays him was very good and was entertaining throughout the show. The girls found him a classis pantomime villain (not too scary) and happily booed him every time he came on stage.
Widow Twanky was entertaining coming out with a number of jokes ranging from laugh out loud to groaning in pain. Widow Twanky maintained a good connection to the audience throughout. The police officers Ping and Pong also maintained a high level of comedy value and kept both myself and the kids thoroughly entertained throughout the show. The only downside to the show was the sound quality for the genie there were a couple of times when I strained to hear what he was saying, that said that rest of the cast made up for this.
The use of current pop songs throughout the show kept the kids entertained and allowed them the chance to sing along, which added to the experience
Overall the girls had a fantastic time at this show, screaming in delight with throughout the big chase scene (credit to the whole cast for not falling over the audience!). I found myself entertained throughout and I felt it was definitely worth the hour long journey to get there. The show is definite value for money and i would recommend this show to others.
Tickets cost from £8 – £40.
For more information or to book tickets click here.