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New Panto’s not Wishee Washee!

Aladdin, Solihull Arts Complex

Aladdin, Solihull Arts Complex

NO show in Solihull pulls a bigger audience than the annual pantomime – and it’s not hard to see why either!

Now in its 20th year, Malcolm Stent’s production continues to punch well above its weight, against other festive shows.

So, what brings families back year on year then? I suspect, in part, it’s because they feel it’s ‘their’ panto.

There’s a really great family atmosphere, and plenty of local references for the audience to enjoy.

A real mix of dance, music, and comedy, it’s hard to believe that the cast has had less than two weeks in rehearsals.

Stealing the show was Marcus Fernando, as the moustache-twirling villain, Abanazar, surely the final word in ne’er do wells.

He cackled, swaggered, and danced to Michael Jackson, and couldn’t have got more ‘Boos’ if he had been Nick Clegg arriving at a student union.

Other highlights included the reveal of Aladdin’s Cave – a splendid special effect! – and a reworking of the David Bowie hit, The Jean Genie.

After the show, Malcolm said that there was no reason why the borough can’t host good, professional theatre.

So, while this show doesn’t have the budget of Birmingham or Wolverhampton, it does have more heart and enthusiasm. And you can guarantee that this is the only panto going with a joke in it about the gypsy invasion of Monkspath.

* Solihull Arts Complex want your memories from the last 20 years of panto. You can email them to:, Fax: 0121 704 6991, or write to Diane Fitzpatrick, Solihull Arts Complex, Homer Road, Solihull, B91 3RG. Messages should arrive before January 4, with all contributors going into a prize-draw for panto tickets.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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