This year’s panto at His Majesty’s Theatre had a very different flavour - with the absence for the first time in many years of Elaine C. Smith as a lead character, replaced instead by Aberdeen panto newcomer, Jimmy Osmond.
Having said that, Ms Smith wasn’t completely absent from this year’s offering of Aladdin, taking on the role - in voice only - of The Genie, allowing panto-goers a smoother transition to the new blood on stage.
So while not there in person, she was still there very much in spirit.
After a 25 minute delay because of gremlins in the sound system, this year’s production got underway.
It was only a matter of time before the strains of Long Haired Lover from Liverpool rang out - much to the delight of the older members of the audience - and Jimmy Osmond appeared in the guise of baddie Abanazar.
However, he was overshadowed this year by panto favourites Alan McHugh and Jordan Young as Widow Twankey and Aladdin respectively, who clearly had stepped out of the shadow of Elaine C. Smith and had the audience in stitches from the moment they set foot on stage.
The one-liners, ad-libbed asides and costume failures had the crowd crying with laughter and screaming for more of the same!
With Mr Osmond back on stage, he proved that he still has one cracking singing voice as he took the audience back to the 70s with an Osmond’s tribute or two, finishing up with the iconic Crazy Horses and sparks flying from his guitar.
Add in a tribute to Aberdeen FC’s European victory in 1983, a silly song or two with audience participation, a good few inuendos and mention of most places in Aberdeenshire and you have the recipe for success.
I must admit, I didn’t miss Elaine C. Smith - although I thought I would - and have taken a definite liking to Mr Osmond, who it has to be said, did incredibly well remembering the words to the ‘fitba boots’ sketch . No easy task for an American, never mind a local!
Well done to the production team for once again providing top-class entertainment for all ages.
No, it didn’t go without a hitch,but that’s just the beauty of panto and no-one really minded anyway once the show got underway. Pure magic!