Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Pamela Anderson in panto: The critics' views

Pamela Anderson in Aladdin. Photo: Anthony Luvera

Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson has kicked off her stint in pantomime, playing the Genie of the Lamp in a production of Aladdin at London's New Wimbledon Theatre.

Theatre critics were in the audience to give their verdict on how the US personality coped with her debut performance in a very British tradition.

The 42-year-old actress was also pictured tucking into a portion of chips at a nearby pub after her first night.


Experimental theatre took a new turn last night when that well known double act, Pamela Anderson, made her debut in the specialist genre of British pantomime.

Miss Anderson, the sometime Baywatch star and pneumatic beachwear model, is as Californian as they come. Panto could not be more British.

So did they mesh? Did they hit it off? Did they bounce as one?

Not quite. But it didn't really matter. This show is a gaudy, vulgar riot.

She gabbles on stage, waves her arms around, fluffs out her custard coloured hair, shrouds herself in some skimpy wrap and keeps giving a wannabe Hollywood star smile at the crowd.

Oh, I suppose it's pretty awful rubbish, really, and yet it works.

It works because she shows she's a decent sport, prepared to send herself up in a Carry On film way and it works, because, at 41 years of age, she is still perky enough to represent a challenge to that old panto cry of 'behind you!'

Because with Pamela they are most definitely 'in front of you!'

Well done, Pam. Welcome to British vaudeville.


Though Anderson has a talent far smaller than her bust, she proves a good sport in the show too.

Pamela Anderson in Aladdin. Photo: Anthony Luvera
Anderson sported a suitably tittilating costume for her performance

She makes her entrance as the Genie of the Lamp almost an hour into the proceedings, descending on a trapeze cum-surfboard and wearing a figure revealing scarlet swim-suit improbably teamed with mauve sequined stilettos.

Her squeaky voice is a pale imitation of Marilyn Monroe's, and no-one, or at least no-one in their right mind, could describe her as a good actress.

But I rather fell for the way her initial sultry pouts gave way to innocent grins of pleasure at appearing in so daft a show.

Anderson seems like one of the gang and my hunch is that she might become a panto fixture. I hope so because as well as supplying glamour, she proves unexpectedly likeable too, with a palpable sense of her own absurdity.


As for Anderson, well, her prime function is sensuously, sinuously to palpitate, undulate, wiggle, wriggle and, told that evil hands all around are desperate to get hold of all she owns, to clutch with a smile at those celebrated boobs.

All this she does well. A pity she has to speak too.

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