It seems like you just need to blink and we’re back in panto season again. Complete with a few blasts from the past, this year’s offering from The Plaza in Stockport is Aladdin.

Anyone who was hoping for a retelling of the Disney classic will be disappointed. The story follows a young man named Aladdin who dreams of marrying the Princess. As with any panto this show was packed with campness, terrible jokes, comedy chases, songs and maybe one or two wardrobe malfunctions.

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s2smodern

After a long year of watching challenging theatre of variable quality it is a relief to just wallow in the daft delights of Aladdin: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto.

Make no mistake this panto is not trying to reinvent the genre and, thank god, as I like my festive fix of silliness to be old fashioned with romantic leads, an OTT dame, a fool and as much innuendo as you can shoehorn into two hours.

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s2smodern

The audience were in fine voice this evening, doing a grand job with the call and response. The boundless energy from the cast was truly reflected through their reactions.Tonight was like a jukebox panto, giving us flashes of cleverly-placed classic well-known songs from many genres and decades. The scenery was incredible and the performers used the space and set well, appearing at points from various nooks and crannies in the scenery.

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s2smodern

Theatr Clwyd brings back its famous Rock ‘n' Roll Panto for another season and this year in the form of Sleeping Beauty. Written by Peter Rowe we are treated to an evening of musical and vocal genius. The script is extremely funny, very current, including the likes of Prince Harry and Meghan and included a skit of a rugby match for Wales. Very clever.

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s2smodern

Pantomime season is upon us again (oh yes it is!) and this year my first festive review is Dick Whittington by Fine Time Fontayne and Kevin Shaw hosted at the stunning Oldham Coliseum Theatre a hidden gem of a theatre tucked away in a side street of Oldham town centre. I was accompanied by my two lovely co reviewers aged nine years and five years old who eagerly awaited for the show to begin armed with their Flashing Rings and sweets purchased from the merchandise stand all flashing and highly attractive to the youngsters.

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s2smodern

Regal Entertainments have done it again!.........Oh yes, they have! At the Theatre Royal, St Helens yet another fabulous pantomime hits the stage and as someone who has been to almost every panto they have presented my expectations are high and once again I am not disappointed.

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s2smodern

This year the Grand Theatre Blackpool will stage one of the most enchanting rags-to-riches fairy tales of them all Cinderella with an all-star cast.

Featuring sumptuous costumes, magnificent scenery and the unmissable and magical moment when Cinderella swaps her rags for a stunning ball gown and is transported to the Prince’s Ball.

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s2smodern

Filled with excitement, despite knowing this wonderful family favourite show like the back of my hand I pondered over what to expect. However, on entering the beautiful Art Deco theatre in Stockport there was an excited buzz from the audience. A large proportion of the audience consisted of many ‘munchkins’ on their anticipated journey over the rainbow, in disguise as excited children on their school holidays.

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s2smodern

Pantomimes' larger than life style and often seemingly improvised approach can give the misconception that they are somehow 'thrown together' and can be somewhat 'cheesy'. However, done well they are a specialised art. The difficulty is you never know which you have gotten until you are in the midst of the performance.

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s2smodern

Pantomime! In March?! I hear you cry..... well, stranger things have been known to happen and as part of The Garrick Academy of Performing Arts' (GAPA) productions this week, the youngest groups tackled the traditional story of Robin Hood and the Babes In The Wood.

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s2smodern

10 days ago Sheffield’s City Hall was a blank canvas, then Manor Operatic Society moved in and converted the space into a fully functional conventional theatre complete with the capability to fly scenery in and out of the stage. This is a herculean task which the team at Manor take on twice a year, and the results in the past have been superb.

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s2smodern