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Sevenoaks panto starring Boyzone star Shane Lynch - what did the Sevenoaks Chronicle think?

By Self-Catering Kent  |  Posted: December 11, 2012

  • Shane Lynch as Abanazar

  • Doing the 12 days of Christmas. Picture: Russell Harper

  • Rob Pearce, Ant Payne and Andrew Stone

  • The cast singing Boyzone classic 'A Picture of You'

  • Andrew Stone as chief of police arresting Abanazar

  • Shane Lynch with Andrew Stone as a fairy

  • Abanazar taking over Widow Twanky to run the laundrette

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THE curtain has gone up and the results have come in – and the verdict is the Sevenoaks panto is a big hit.

Reality TV host Davina McCall and former Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker have both given Aladdin star approval.

And the Chronicle is happy to stand alongside them both and confirm the show is a cracker.

With 14,500 tickets sold in a record-breaking year, it was all smiles at the Stag on Saturday for the opening night.

The afternoon's performance had been beset by technical glitches which made it overrun by 30 minutes.

There was bound to be some backstage nerves later that day when the 7pm show started 15 minutes late.

But after a hesitant start, the songs kicked in, the jokes kept flowing and the roar of approval from the audience was deafening.

So how did they do?

Boyzone's Shane Lynch was convincingly sinister as Abanazar – or Barack Obama as panto fool Silly Billy teased him.

The tattoos – and he is literally covered in them – give him the air of menace.

Pineapple Dance Studio's Andrew Stone is a hidden gem, getting the biggest cheer of the night from the Saturday evening crowd.

As the Chief of Police – who secretly wants the role of Aladdin – he fitted in to the cast like a well-worn glove.

Aladdin and Princess Jasmine (Drew Levi Huntsman and Lucy Reed) justified the Panto Factor judges' decision on giving them the roles.

They exuded a convincing chemistry as the love interest with Lucy, in particular, stunning.

Jasette Amos as The Genie of the Lamp has a punishing schedule ahead as she dashes about the stage, playing two roles beautifully.

And dear old Tony Haygarth as the Emperor is his usual, bumbling, forgetful self. With hilarious and endearing consequences.

Then there is Silly Billy and Widow Twanky (Ant Payne and Rob Pearce).

If ever there was a pairing made in heaven, it was this two.

From the minute they walk on stage, the laughs come and do not stop.

Silly Billy manages to squeeze in a little adult humour for the mums and dads while Widow Twanky dazzles in an array of colourful costumes and ridiculous scenes.

For the rest of the crew, the dance scenes are a flaming success (you'll have to go and see), the pyrotechnics spectacular and there is even a reference to the summer Olympics.

If you have not booked your ticket yet, take a magic carpet ride to the Stag.

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