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Aladdin and Wee Jeannie, Oran Mor, Glasgow


Just in case the Chancellor's autumn statement isn't a lot of laughs, those skittish funsters at Oran Mor have stepped up to the plate (which of course holds the customary pie) to make merry with today's taxing issues. Cue Aladdin, a rags-to-riches role model for our times. His is a single parent household, his mother's laundry business is all washed up and the family's in the soup, not eating it. That's a hint about some souper word-play, by the way – although Arbroath doesn't come into it since we're in Peking.

We're also caught up in a marathon running gag about panto's tradition of cross-dressing, with the cast of four spending some – or, in the case of Aladdin (Cat Crozier), all – of the show as members of the opposite sex. Think Ma Broon in a geisha wig and you have Dave Anderson's Twanky before she gets all swanky on the magic dosh. Juliet Cadzow starts off as the hilariously lumpen adolescent Wishy Washy but quick changes (when Aladdin rubs something other than a lamp!) into a Jeannie who embodies, and imbibes, the spirits of Scotland. George Drennan drags in comedy twice over: once as the snitty-snobby Twinky, and once as the Princess in harem-scarem scanties who wants a man with mega-assets. Crozier's confusion in the face of her takeover bids is a treat.

En route to the final twist in the tale there are nippy side-swipes at the politicians and fat cats riding high at the expense of the poor. We'd tighten our belts in sympathy, but by then we've eaten all the pies.

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