Andy Collins’ Wishee Washee is a gem with exceptional timing, rapport and warmth in this enjoyable Aladdin. He might even be too much of a good thing because at two and a half hours this show is 30 minutes too long and you feel he’s overused.
Michelle Collins works convincingly as the Genie of the Ring with frequent references to her TV persona – particularly in Albert Square. But every time her namesake, Andy, comes on he steals it. Director Chris Nelson – himself an appealing PC Pong – knows he’s on to a good thing with Wishee so all manner of diverting routines go his way – two especially in the first half had us all in tears.
But these diversions keep coming, the plot is left to wither and by the end – with a mock ballet with balloons – we just want them to get on with it.
The show isn’t all Andy Collins: there’s fine singing from La Voix’s Twankey, Jasmin Walia’s Jasmine and especially Danny Colligan’s Aladdin; the songs are delivered expertly and Leanne Pinder’s choreography makes good use of a big stage and a scarily acrobatic Genie Of the Lamp in Joel Ekperigin.
It’s all delivered against a regularly shifting backdrop of appropriate colour and scale made even more vivid by some effective lighting from Bob Bustance