Magical entertainment from a lad and his lamp

After a five-year hiatus, the end-of-year pantomime is back with a bang as director Amanda Bothma and cast and crew members prepare to stage their 2018 adaptation of A Lad ‘n a Lamp at the Guild Theatre.
Starting out 15 years ago with the very same tale of a hero, a princess, a genie and a lamp, Bothma decided to revisit the magical story of Aladdin for the pantomime’s spectacular come back.
“A Lad ‘n a Lamp was the very first pantomime we did in 2003 and it’s been really exciting to go back to the start and look at it differently,” said Bothma, who took a break from the theatre to spend more time with her family.
Treating audiences to productions like I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and The Jungle Book earlier this year, the pantomime will be Bothma’s sixth show this year.
The story of Aladdin originates in the ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’, but the comedic pantomime version is set in China and according to Bothma, vibrant costumes and lively sets are to be expected.
“Aladdin is one of the most popular pantomimes; it’s an age old and beautiful story. We’re using a slightly updated script, but the audience can expect the same charismatic characters and magical scenes,” said Bothma, who promised that the genie’s remarkable appearance from the lamp would definitely be recreated in the show.
With cast members ranging from six to 60 years old, lead roles will be played by Kerry Hiles, Kay Mosiane, Jonathan Buitendag, Mathew Clur and Guy Hartely.
Jazmin will be played by Stirling High School matric pupil, Tanique Allers, while Aladdin comes in the form of 18-year-old theatre extraordinaire Daniel Anderson, whose love of the performing arts started when he played the role of John Darling in Bothma’s Peter Pan in 2008.
“I was this pudgy little 10-year-old and it was my first theatre production experience. I loved it and I loved working with Amanda, that experience is what made the theatre bug bite, and the rest is history,” said Anderson who has become a well known entertainer on the East London theatre scene.
“I’ve always been part of the ‘lead group’ as the energetic sidekick, but this is the first major lead role I’m taking. It’s challenging because Aladdin is such a well known character and there’s a lot of weight that comes from the name, but I’m excited to dive into that and work through the characterisation process,” said Anderson.
The Stirling High School matric pupil will study film production in Cape Town next year and see’s this pantomime as a special goodbye from the theatre family he’s made over the years.
Bothma said that the goal of the pantomime was twofold and that apart from the fun of it all, the greatest reward was watching youngsters who have taken part in the pantomime use their talents to succeed later on in life.
“Pantomimes are there to grow theatre audiences in East London, but also to nurture talent. It’s been amazing to see how many of the young performers starting out in this little town have honed their skills and achieved great things,” said Bothma. The show is set to run from December 9 to 14 and December 20 to 23 at the Guild Theatre...

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