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Encyclopedia > Aladdin (musical)

Aladdin, was 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 the 21st of December 1979) and starred Richard Freeman, Joe Melia, Aubrey Woods, and Ernest Clark. The Fantasticks was the longest-running musical in history. ... The Christmas Pantomime colour lithograph bookcover, 1890 Pantomime (informally, panto) refers to a theatrical genre, traditionally found in Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Ireland, which is usually performed around the Christmas and New Year holiday season. ... Sandy Wilson (born May 19, 1924) is a British composer and lyricist, best known for his musical, The Boyfriend (1954). ... Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday that marks the traditional birthdate of Jesus of Nazareth. ... Aubrey Woods was a British actor. ... Earnest Clark (born February 12, 1912 in London, England - died November 11, 1994 in Somerset, England) was a British actor who was an accomplished actor of stage, television and film. ...

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. [1] Sandy Wilson was apparently asked to write a conventional pantomime in this tradition, but (quoting from the sleeve notes he wrote for the cast recording): "Instead of writing a pantomime - a form of theatre about which I know very little - I decided to make Aladdin a musical, and based it on the original story in the Arabian nights" Aladdin in the Magic Garden, an illustration by Max Liebert from Ludwig Fuldas Aladdin und die Wunderlampe Aladdin (a corruption of the Arabic name , Arabic: علاء الدين literally nobility of faith) is one of the tales with an Arabic Syrian origin[1] in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights... Ali Baba by Maxfield Parrish (1909). ... The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (كتاب ألف ليلة و ليلة in Arabic or هزار و یک شب in Persian), also known as The book of a Thousand Nights and a Night...

This is a trifle disingenuous, to say the least, as the show actually follows the traditional pantomime presentation of the Aladdin quite closely - including the "pantomime dame" character of Widow Twankey (renamed Tuang Kee Chung for the programme). In fact, as a cast recording was released, this is a valuable record of what a traditional Aladdin pantomime (albeit one by a composer/lyricist/playwright of superior talents) is like. To be fair, the plot has fewer completely gratuitous twists, and the songs a little more to do with the plot, than is usually the case with a "pure" Aladdin pantomime. A pantomime dame is a traditional character in British Panto. ... Widow Twankey is a character in the pantomime Aladdin. ...



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.

The emperor's herald proclaims that anyone looking upon the Princess Badralbadur 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. Henry Edgar Paston-Bedingfeld, Her Majestys York Herald of Arms in Ordinary at the College of Arms. ...

Abanazar's arrival seems like just the thing. He quickly convinces the widow and her son (neither of whom is very bright) that he is the boy's long lost uncle and that he will make Aladdin rich. The upshot of this finds Aladdin trapped in the cave - where he inadvertently summons the genie of the ring - a sympathetic young lady who readily agrees to take him to his mother's house, after a few tears over the sad fact that "Genies have no mothers". The Widow Twankey starts to clean the rusty old lamp which is all her son has brought home - thus summoning another, much more powerful genie who makes it clear he will do anything for anyone unless they make unkind remarks about his green colouring. In no time at all Aladdin is a prince, and happily married to the princess of his dreams. Ancient Assyrian stone relief of a genie. ...

The Widow Twankey is now the Royal Mother-in-law - and manages to dispose of that rusty old lamp to Abanazar (disguised as a pedlar). He is now the Genie's new master - and he quickly takes the palace (complete with the princess and her mother-in-law) to Morocco. A persons mother-in-law is the mother of his or her spouse. ... A peddler, Brit. ...

Under sentence of death from the emperor, Aladdin follows the palace to Morocco with the aid of the genie of the ring, and, obtaining the lamp, he gets the palace and the princess back to their wonted places. Abanazar however follows Aladdin back to China, where it becomes apparent that in a contest of brains our hero hasn't a chance. What is he to do? A bit of old fashioned violence ("the old Kung-Fu") is called for. This remedy applied, Abanazar is carried off by the Great Roc and all ends happily. Intelligence is a property of mind that encompasses many related mental abilities, such as the capacities to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. ... This article provides a general overview of Chinese martial arts. ... This article is about the Roc, a mythical bird. ...


  • The spell
  • Aladdin
  • Hang-Chow
  • The proclamation
  • Tuang Kee Po
  • It is written in the sands
  • There and then
  • Love's a luxury
  • Dream about me
  • Song of the genie of the ring
  • Song of the genie of the lamp
  • Chopsticks
  • All I did
  • Wicked
  • The dirge
  • Life in the laundry
  • Give him the old kung fu

See Also

  • Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith
  • Cast Album: http://www.castalbumdb.com/rec.cfm?RNumber=5


  • Original Cast Recording - President Records PTLS 1072 (1980)



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