The Adventures of Aladdin

Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

06/07/2010 - 17/07/2010

Production Details

Written and directed by Rodney Bane

Presented by Kapitall Kids' Theatre

An updated version of Aladdin – Kapitall Kids Theatre are combining the traditional tale of the boy with the magic lamp with hip-hop dance!

Aladdin is a hip-hop dancer and wants to be famous for it, but (the truth is) he isn’t very good at it. The Princess is good and wants to be a famous dancer too, and not just as a Princess. The Genii of The Magic Lamp can help them achieve their dreams, on his terms, but the Evil Azabanaza, posing as a theatrical agent, tries to foil their plans. Will he succeed?

Aladdin’s Aunt Tabitha Twankey is keen to expand her laundry business, but is not helped by the hapless WishyWashy! She is desperate for more help, can the disguised Princess help her out?

Starring George Harach as Aladdin, Jason Chasland (The Nero Show) as The Genii, Norie Parata as the Princess Jewel, Michael Fowler as The Evil Azabanaza with Ainslie Allen as Widow Twanky and Gareth Kissick plays WishyWashy adding extra comedy to the mix.

It’s a show brimming with hip hop dance, songs, action and audience participation.

Shows: At the Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street.
Tuesday 6 to Friday 9 July at 11 am and 1 pm,
Saturday 10 July, 11 am only
Monday 12 to Friday 16 July at 11 am and 1 pm.
Final Saturday 17 July at 11 am only.
Booking phone (04) 934 4068,
or email


George Harach as Aladdin

Jason Chasland as The Genii

Norie Parata as the Princess Jewel

Michael Fowler as The Evil Azabanaza

Ainslie Allen as Widow Twanky

Gareth Kissick as WishyWashy  

Theatre , Family , Children’s , Pantomime , Musical , Dance , Hiphop ,

Song and dance routines delight

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 08th Jul 2010

Kapital Kids Theatre’s updated version of the Aladdin story is engaging.

In this version Aladdin (George Harach) is trying to be a recognised hip-hop dancer. However, he is not very good and even the lithe Princess Jewell (Nori Parata) has her work cut out teaching him the basic steps.  

And he doesn’t have much time for dancing either as his mother Widow Twankey (Ainslie Allen) has other ideas, making him and the dimwitted Wishywashy (Gareth Kissick) do the laundry.

When he searches the attic for junk to sell to pay for more dancing lessons he comes across a lamp, which of course produces the Genie (Jason Chasland).

From here the story follows traditional lines except that the baddie Azabanaza (Michael Fowler), who steals the lamp, is a talent scout. He of course comes to a sticky end and Aladdin has his final wish, to become the best hip-hop dancer ever.

As can be expected, the show has as many song and dance routines as it does lines of dialogue, much to the delight of the audience, all expertly choreographed by Anna Robinson.

Writer/director Rodney Bane has included a number of chase scenes, always a crowd pleaser, and keeps the energy of the cast up at a cracking pace.
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Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves

Review by John Smythe 06th Jul 2010

Despite a lack of flair in the stage design (the image above is not from the set) this version of Aladdin turns out to work quite well. Initially quite wordy, static and evenly paced – after Aladdin has demonstrated his (purposely) clumsy attempts at hip hop – it warms up, especially when Jason Chasland’s Genii appears, but that takes a while.

There is no panto dame. Mrs Twanky, the owner of the Laundry Emporium, is a crisp business woman played briskly, if a little softly, by Ainslie Allen. Aladdin – played with the right amount of innocence and awkwardness by George Harach to win audience sympathy – is her nephew, and his dream is to become a famous hip-hop dancer.

Princess Jewel (a perky but world-wise Norie Parata), slumming it as ‘Julie’, turns up looking for a job so she can pursue her identical dream without interference from Azabanaza (a suavely nasty Michael Fowler), the Grand Vizier back at the palace. He moonlights as the kind of agent who rips off naïve and vulnerable dreamers like Aladdin by demanding thousands of dollars up front. But Jewel/Julie is not so easily duped.

Wishy Washy (Gareth Kissick), the laundry worker, is there and gets a couple of funny moments but is not integral to the plot, which plays out in a fairly humdrum way until Aladdin rubs the old lamp he’s planning to sell to pay Azabanaza, bringing the dynamic Chasland on as a yankee-doodle Genii from America’s deep south, layin’ down his Genii lore with welcome flair.

The whole ‘three wishes’ thing plays out quite well (although more could be made of the inherent dangers) and Harach turns out to be spectacularly talented in the hip hop department, with Parata’s moves complementing him nicely. The rumbustious chase sequences are fun, too.

What’s sorely lacking is audience participation. Julie does suggest the audience could help Aladdin, early on, to master a few hip hop moves but the cast do nothing to make it happen which is worse than not suggesting it in the first place. It’s like being invited in then having the door slammed in our faces.

“Look out behind you!” moments and “Boo! Hiss!” opportunities are also entirely absent, which is especially strange in Aladdin. It seems to be endemic in children’s theatre these days that nothing too scary can happen and the baddies can’t be too bad, which rather robs the old folk tales of their essential dramatic texture.

There’s not a lot of adventuring either, which makes the title a bit misleading.

Nevertheless the Tuesday afternoon crowd got vocal of their own accord towards the end, a sound moral is implicit – that money-grasping exploiters will not prosper while talented fame-seekers willing to work their way up may do well – and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.


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