Aladdin, A Wish Come True

ParkFest preparation is now under way

The Mayflower is the closest we have to the West End. The theatre attracts the biggest shows and the biggest names, and has the grandest sets.

And usually at Christmas, it shies away from traditional panto to put on a 'proper' seasonal show.

This year, the venue has gone back to its roots. It welcomes back a good old panto – and then gives it the Mayflower glitter treatment.

Paul O'Grady steals the show as Lily Twanky. It's Lily Savage at her best – and straying away from the script enough to have two colleagues unable to continue for a while because they have been corpsed by an off-the-cuff one-liner.

Aladdin is played by S Club 7 singer and former EastEnders actor Jon Lee. He isn't the most charismatic character, but his singing voice is lovely – and combines perfectly with the crystal tones of Marissa Dunlop-Bidwell, who plays Princess Jasmine.

Other performances of note come from Abanazar (Darren Bennett) and PCs Ping and Pong (Matthew Rixon and Andy Spiegel) – as well as the elephants and the genie.

And look out for a marvellous flying carpet routine that is truly a slice of Christmas magic.

But this is unashamedly the Lily Savage show, and all the better for it – some of the jokes are way over the heads of the youngsters, but are thoroughly enjoyed by the tittering parents.

It's fun, it's glossy, it's innovative and it's Aladdin as you've never seen it before. Tickets are going fast – and it's easy to see why. It's Christmas panto as panto should be.

Until January 8.