By WAYNE SAVAGE, entertainment writer
Friday, December 21, 2012
Dragons, mystical genies, romance; get ready for the magic carpet ride of a lifetime with Aladdin.
Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion has been transformed into Old Peking for the the Dennis Lowe Theatre Company’s 47th traditional family pantomime.
With owner Suffolk Coastal saying it can no longer afford the annual £250,000 cost of the theatre, it’s appointed specialist agents Jones Lang LaSalle to re-market the seafront property to try to attract a bidder – either to run it as a theatre or a new attraction.
When Aladdin closes on January 6, so does the theatre.
“Never say never,” says Aladdin’s director and choreographer Suzie Lowe when I ask her about the possibility of it being the last ever show there.
“There hasn’t been a year gone by where I haven’t done a show at the theatre. I’m positive something will happen. The council want to see it survive, they want to see it as a theatre. I can see where they’re coming from in terms of ‘financially this isn’t working, we need to re-think it’.
“I was with the councillors yesterday. I can’t say too much but it’s the most positive I’ve heard them speak. If they can figure out a way it’s going to be financially viable they will go with it 100 per cent. Fingers crossed.”
She’s excited about the show which sees the evil wizard Abanazar seek out Aladdin, who lives with his brother Wishy Washy and mum Widow Twankey, so he can get his hands on a magic lamp containing the mystical genie. Things don’t go quite to plan and the adventure begins.
“You’ve got Princess Jasmine, the Emperor of China, some funny comedy slapstick policemen. There’s lots and lots of audience participation; it’s just non-stop throughout the whole show. We’ve got some lovely effects... we’ve also got a brilliant dragon,” says Suzie, who’s actually going on as Aladdin for two shows.
“Our Aladdin had some work commitments he couldn’t get out of. When I’m not doing that I’m dancing away with the others. I take it all in my stride to be honest with you,” she laughs. “I love it, I just rock up and get on with it.”
Audiences can also expect lots of upbeat dance numbers and smash songs from Shrek The Musical, Madness, Take That, High School Musical and much, much more from the 30-strong cast.
Suzie wants everybody to come along and show their support for the Spa.
“If it does close, at least they can say they came and saw a brilliant show, had some fun. Just come down, even for the memories and stuff. Support us because if this the last show then obviously we want to go out with a bang.”
Aladdin runs at the Felixstowe Spa from December 22-January 6.