King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sun 18 Jan
Where would the King’s panto be without Allan Stewart? All pantos rely heavily on their dame, but Stewart as Widow Twankey carries this show like a tireless packhorse. Which isn’t to say that Grant Stott’s baddie isn’t as deliciously vile as ever (he is) and that the sets and costumes don’t dazzle with plenty of Christmas sparkle (they do). There’s also an excellent nippy sweetie in the form of chief of police, Jo Freer and the Emperor’s strong tenor voice hits the spot.
The rest of the show, however, resides firmly in the shadow of Aladdin’s biggest selling point – 3D imagery. The lacklustre dance routines and weak vocals are forgotten once we pull on our special glasses and squeal with delight as rocks and spiders come hurtling towards us. Watching the entire audience reach out to rub a lamp which isn’t there is truly hilarious. As are Stewart’s superb one-liners, audience banter and myriad facial expressions.