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Ali Baba Review

posted 30 Jan 2015, 02:22 by Alison Woodward

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Wycliffe Drama Group


Wycliffe Drama Group’s annual pantomime was an unusual choice, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”. It isn’t often produced, maybe because it does verge on the grisly since someone gets chopped into four pieces? Being panto, he is then sewn up by designer tailor Fab Ric (Get it? Fabric? Oh suit yourselves). He’s is raised to life like Frankenstein, and on into a song from “The Rocky Horror Show”. Pantomime covers many genres, this one also had four Dames singing a song from “South Pacific”. I’ll let you guess which one!

However in the sure hands of the WDG, “Ali Baba” remained a traditional pantomime. The opening scene, involving pyrotechnics and Helen Warrington’s dancers in gorgeous costumes, was stunning. There were all the usual characters. Dickie Wood played his ever popular Dame, Mum Baba. Ali Baba (Beth Cunningham) was engaged to pretty slave Safiya (Tabatha Gregg), and had to steal money from the chief robber, Sheikh Mustafa Leikh (Richard Hill), in order to buy her. This hissable Baddie had a gang of 40 thieves, give or take a few as he killed them off, led by his henchmen, the wonderful Russ Crooks and Imi Hornsby, creating mayhem. Add into the mix Ali’s brother Cassim (Julian Mitchell), sometimes “resting in pieces”, and sister in law, the formidable Sharon (Lauren Crooks), a charming camel, Kamil, and a huge chorus (I lost count), all led by Scherezade (Lucy Rowe), telling us the story…..well you certainly got your “moneys worth”! The pyrotechnics were worth the ticket price alone.

Another triumphal pantomime from the WDG and enormous fun for Lutterworth audiences.

Vivien Window