Aladdin

Aladdin, is a musical/pantomime written by Sandy Wilson for the inaugural Christmas Pantomime at the newly refurbished Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. It played during the Christmas pantomime season of 1979/80 at the theatre, (opening on 21 December 1979) and starred Richard Freeman, Joe Melia, Aubrey Woods, and Ernest Clark.

The Aladdin story (sometimes combined with Ali Baba and other Arabian Nights tales) had already been a traditional pantomime subject in England for nearly two hundred years, and numerous versions of this tale have been presented.

The wicked wizard Abanazar, in his desert home in Morocco, summons the spirits to tell him how he may obtain the magic lamp — source of all power. He is somewhat bemused to discover that the source lies in a Chinese Laundry in Peking, and the launderess’ ne’er-do-well son Aladdin. The ghostly chorus of the spirits takes us into the next scene, where Aladdin himself is discussing with his mother the virtues of idleness.

We suggest the following backdrops for this show …

The emperor’s herald proclaims that anyone looking upon the Princess Badroulbadour as she passes on her way to the baths will be instantly executed. This is just the kind of challenge that Aladdin likes, so he rushes off to try to catch a glimpse of the Princess. When he returns from his quest the Widow is relieved that he is alive, but very concerned that the young couple are in love. Everyone, including the emperor himself, has a pretty shrewd idea of what has happened — but, as he explains in song to his daughter, “Loves’s a luxury” that royals must forgo for reasons of state.

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