Say the name, Jonathan Wilkes to anyone around the Staffordshire and Cheshire area and I can guarantee the first thing that they will say is Pantomime. Jonny is known for being one of the masterminds behind Stoke’s annual pantomime at The Regent Theatre; both staring in it and directing it.
This year Jonny Wilkes stars as Aladdin, and back again by popular demand, this is his 12th Regent panto, and him and his one-liners that everyone knows and loves. Would the Regent pantomime really be the same with Jonny? Absolutely not! He is the life and soul of the pantomime and no Stoke pantomime would be the same without him. Bursting onto the stage the room filled with an atmosphere of nothing but love for Jonny – and you could feel the room filled with pride from supporters of Jonny, and you can genuinely feel the love growing for him from every single person in the audience. Jonny Wilkes is certainly The King of Pantomime, and it is a well deserved and earnt title.
The incredibly talented cast included performers from the Wilkes Academy, a performing arts academy founded by Jonny and his wife Nikki Wilkes – and they were all breathtaking. The dance routines were energetic and always polished to perfection, a real credit to choreographer Nikki who must be beaming with pride.
Laughing throughout the entire production is something which you will not be able to avoid, and with references and jokes to local football teams, cities and everyone’s favourite Geordie duo Ant and Dec, you will be in stitches from start to finish, with jokes for all ages.
I’ve been to a lot of pantomimes, I mean who hasn’t? But this year, was so different! To start with, there was 3D?! Now, I don’t know if I have been living under a rock but when I used to go pantomimes there was a few confetti cannons and a couple of snowflake projections. But The Regent Theatre really went all out. Presenting each member of the audience with 3D glasses upon arrival, everyone was instantly left wondering, what was going to happen? The 3D was used to bring the magic genie to life, and to take you on your very own carpet ride! This was evidently, from the room filled with laughter, very enjoyable for everyone of ALL ages, not just the small kids! I absolutely loved this use of 3D because it really made you feel like you were part of the pantomime, and the laughs it gave you watching everyone try and grab the magic lamp! Certainly was a highlight of the production.
I totally recommend going down to the Regent Theatre for this year’s pantomime, and letting the cast of Aladdin take you on a magical journey. Brought to you by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, Aladdin has all features of the best and most magical pantomime, filled with special effects, backflipping cast members, beautifully detailed costumes and endless laughs and boos – it is perfect for all the family to enjoy!
Aladdin is at The Regent Theatre until 7th January 2017 Tickets are on sale and available from the Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke
*I was kindly invited down to watch Aladdin by The Regent Theatre, however, all opinions and views remain my own.