2000 Aladdin

This show marked the group’s 25th anniversary.

Hollie and April Willis appeared for the first time, along with Abigail and Claire Sweeney, and Amelia Ashton. This show was the last that Rita Hampton appeared in. She’d started 12 years earlier. Linda Ellis left as well, after 17 years, as did Ann Brothers, having done make-up for 19 years.

Roy Ritchie played Wishee-Washee: he’d played it 11 years earlier as well. Ross, as Widow Twankey, had a routine where he pulled endless strings of washing out of a washing machine. When it got stuck, he had to put his head inside, at which point a (small) flash box would go off. On the last night (and I think you’re ahead of me here) the flash box was significantly larger. Not only did it render Ross deaf for some minutes, it also blew his wig off!

The part of Wan Long Pong (who thinks of these names?) was played by a newcomer called Mark Wightman. Apparently, he fell down the stairs at the side of stage at one point, and apart from a brief stint backstage next year, we never see him again….

Joan Ritchie produced: she had been assistant producer in the previous Aladdin, eleven years earlier, and that had been her first time.