It has to be seen to be believed.
Aladdin as the spawn of a cross-dressing man-eating launderette boss, chased around pagodas by a satin-clad bobby on the streets of ancient Peking: the mind boggles.
More than any other, Aladdin takes the biscuit for barmiest, most outlandish panto ever dreamt up. It takes one brave/crackers crew and cast to pick up the gauntlet and lay on the madness.
To have then turned the whole shtick into an undeniable triumph is testament to the plucky team at the Theatre Royal Bath.

They are aided in no small part by the production values, which are on display throughout.
From the roll of intricate sets, to Widow 
Twankey’s dozen or so costume changes, no expense is spared. Clearly every scrap of garish polyester in Bath has gone into her harlequin hoop skirts and oversized bows.

This would have been nothing without the cavalcade of gags and capers that propels the performance through. Bath stalwart Jon Monie is a force to be reckoned with as the largely hapless (always hilarious) Wishee Washee. His off-the-cuff banter with children handpicked to karate kick during a rendition of Kung Fu Fighting was simply priceless and one of the standout moments of the night.

The hugely charismatic Bill Ward is clearly in his element as the villain Abanazar. His steely glare and Machiavellian guffaw alone were enough to reduce a baying crowd of bairns to momentary silence. He fed off every boo and hiss, egging his riled up audience on to such a point that he was nearly smacked square in the forehead by a particularly aghast child leaning over from one of the boxes. His hefty turban was his saving grace

Nick Wilton delivers a rambunctious turn as the irrepressible Widow Twankey,  
and special mention must be made to Tom Whalley, aka baton-wielding PC Pong, whose slapstick flair and powerful windpipe know no bounds. His has to be the screechiest caterwaul in panto history.

The audience relished every last gambit, not least the grown-ups who more than held their own, one-upping their brood on the jeering stakes. As silly, chaotic and topsy-turvy as can be, this is Aladdin in all its mystifying glory.
Aladdin runs at the Theatre Royal Bath until January 8.