10th - 15th November 1997
Photographs by John Tustin
Production Officials
Director Ernest Dawson
Musical Associate J. Arnold Thornton
Choreographer Vicki Wilson
Junior's Leader Lindsay Farnworth
Aladdin Delaney Brindle
Widow Twankey Roy E Iddon
Wishee Washee David Witt
Abanazar Norman Bowers
Genie Murray Brindle
Princess Christine Collins
Slave of the Ring Sarah Chamberlain
So Shy Julia Marsden
Grand Vizier David M Raistrick
Emperor Michael Taylor
The Mummy Mike Witt
Carole Brooks, Norma Dootson, Jane Bickerstaffe, Barbara Cotter, Paul J Duckworth, Hazel Gray, Irene Bowers, Janet Witt, Gill Pollitt, Mary Pycroft, Yvonne Neary, Barbara Martin, Joyce Walters, Cecilia Keefe, Rita Margiotta, Barry Cragg, Vicky Witt, James McQuoney, Sylvia Fishwick, Louise Orsman, Norma Wilcock, Helen Pycroft, Timothy West, Chris Hayes, Elizabeth Pycroft, Helena Houghton, Katie Holt, Jill Marsden, Laren Bergrin, Jeanette Nelson, Emma Walsh, Katie Wesley, Rachael Bannister, Michelle Nelson, Rachael Eccles, Joanne Dawber, Laura Holland, Susie Bunn, Jennifer Hilton, Katie Bunn, Jenny Brindle, Sarah Lally, Sophie Wilkinson, Danielle Peacock, Charlotte Wilkinson
  • Aladdin Aladdin
  • Widow Twankey Widow Twankey
  • Princess and her attendants Princess and her attendants
  • The Emperor and Aladdin The Emperor and Aladdin
  • Wishee Washee Wishee Washee
  • The Emperor and the Grand Vizier The Emperor and the Grand Vizier
  • Abanazar Abanazar
  • Aladdin and Widow Twankey Aladdin and Widow Twankey
  • The Princess The Princess
  • The Emperor's Court The Emperor's Court
  • Widow Twankey Widow Twankey
  • The Emperor meets the Princess The Emperor meets the Princess
  • The Grand Vizier The Grand Vizier
  • Aladdin Aladdin
  • The Company The Company

  • Bolton Evening News Review
  • NODA North West News Review
The pantomime season - already? Oh yes it is! And Walmsley AODS have served up a real treat for those hoping to get an early taste of the festive atmosphere, with some magnificent performances and stunning, colourful sets.

The ancient tale of the lad with the lamp who finds fortune thanks to his all powerful genie friend is wonderfully brought to life providing top class entertainment for an audience with a a wide variety of tastes. It is packed full of the usual ingredients for a good panto - song, dance, slapstick and gags old and even older.

Roy Iddon's Widow Twankey steals the show with a quite superb performance as the amorous washerwoman and does a great job of playing off the audience to good effect. And his side-kick, Wishee Washee played by David Witt also adds to the fun. Delaney Brindle is a first class principal boy in the title role and ably partnered by Christine Collins as the Princess. Norman Bowers is suitably villainous and sinister as the evil magician, Abanazar exciting the boos and hisses of the packed audience and Michael Taylor is also well cast as the Emperor.

Dave Toomer
This early start to the pantomime season saw an enjoyable production with excellent sets and a script crammed with enough corn to satisfy the jolly green giant. Overall, the production was treated perhaps a little too seriously and it never quite completely captured to magic that is pantomime. However, it did have its moments and there were several excellent individual performances.

Foremost amongst these was Roy E. Iddon as the rumbustious washerwoman, Widow Twankey. Outrageous costumes and hairstyles, plus an instant rapport with the audience added much to the evening's entertainment. David Witt took a little longer to establish himself in the role of Wishee-Washee. Despite the loss of his lop-sided moustache in Act I he reappeared, presumably with the aid of the incumbent Genie, with a small beard in Act II and eventually came to terms with the vociferous front rows of the audience.

Norman Bowers was the villain of the piece, Abanazar. Whilst rather underplaying the wickedness of this loathsome character, here a more dramatic make-up would have assisted, he did sufficiently well the generate the statutory hisses and boos from the audience. Michael Taylor was well cast as the pompous, but totally ineffectual, Emperor, whilst David Raistrick was suitably officious as the Grand Vizier. Delaney Brindle was the archetypal Principal Boy. A good stage presence, strong, clear voice and the essential good legs combined to make an excellent Aladdin. Christine Collins made a demure Princess Balroubador but was a little vocally under-par whilst Julie Marsden made her mark as So-Shy.

Minor roles were generally well played by Sarah Chamberlain (Slave of the Rings), Murray Brindle (Genie) and Mike Witt as the Mummy. The chorus was a mixture of the Junior Workshop and some senior members of the society. This combination seemed to lack the exuberance one associates with pantomime with the juniors being somewhat underused.

Production was by Ernest Dawson who was supported by Vicki Wilson (choreographer), Lindsay Farnworth (junior workshop leader) and J. Arnold Thornton (musical associate). The design of the programme cover came from a competition between the pupils of Walmsley C. of E. Primary School, the eventual winner being Alex English.

Glyn Neary

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