The DDO family took a school night trip to the panto last night (oh no you didn't, oh yes we did ... had to get that in early!) as Derby Arena welcomed it's first ever panto season with a Paul Holman Associates production of Aladdin.
Now myself, Dad of the family Adam, has never had the pleasure of a Christmas panto before so I headed across to Derby Arena with a bit of trepidation as I wasn't sure what to expect.
The cast looked good on paper; Dan Osbourne, Natasha Hamilton, Ritchie Neville, Mike McClean, Joseph Elliott and Richard David-Caine to name just a few so even it was a bit stuffy I thought it the singing and acting may be half decent.
Taking our seats near the front for a prompt 7pm start I was in for 3 hours (or so) of the funniest live entertainment I've seen in years!
The entire cast gave very convincing performances of this much loved tale of love but with a massive amount of tongue-in-cheek humour, gags, blue for the adults, slap stick for the kids and a whole load of musical numbers from the talented Ritchie & Natasha.
My personal highlights were the non-stop comedy of Mike McClean who was hilarious all performance ... he's doing a couple of adult only shows in January 2016 which (based on last nights showing) must be well worth the money at £16.25 per ticket!! Also Window Twanky played by Leon Craig who must be well accustomed to playing the panto Dame as this is his 13th year but he plays it SO well, a million miles an hour with a wicked sense of humour!
Fair play to Derby Live for hosting such a well rehearsed, well casted and well thought out production.
The dancing, music and staging was spot on ... I don't think I can find anything to fault.
If you have an extra few £'s or looking for a family treat in the run up to Christmas this is the show for you.
Can't wait for Cinderella next Christmas ... roll on my next panto!!