Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre
Theatre-goers were given the chance to revisit their childhoods at the weekend with the arrival of London’s hottest new show, Aladdin. It’s the first Disney musical to launch in the West End since 1999, and even with only a few performances under its belt, it’s sure to become a firm favourite and, certainly, a major competitor with the Lion King, which has had a long-standing residency down the road.
Little introduction needs to be made to this beloved story, the tale of Aladdin (played by Dean John-Wilson), a street peddler and petty thief vying for the love of princess Jasmine (played by Jade Ewen), and granted three wishes by a genie in a lamp. A competent duo, John-Wilson and Ewen bring the romantic side of the story to life, with the highly anticipated magic carpet scene transporting the audience into a starry night sky that is dreamlike and awe-inspiring.
However, Aladdin’s major casting highlight comes in the form of Trevor Dion Nicholas, who absolutely shines in the role of Genie, delivering a multitude of witty jokes with pizzazz and panache, and the body language to match. Adding to the fun is his ability to draw in the audience with British cultural references and modern humour that viewers can easily relate to. Certainly, these were big boots to fill with the character so spectacularly voiced by Robin Williams, but Nicholas confidently holds his own.
Sadly, Aladdin’s trusted monkey friend Abu is nowhere to be seen, replaced instead by a trio of sidekicks who offer some humorous dialogue and some fun dance moves. Indeed, there is high-quality choreography throughout that takes influence from an array of styles, including an impressive tap-dance scene that shows off the ability of this high-quality cast.
Contributing to the magic is elegant set design from Bob Crowley that conjures the feel of Arabia with intricate detail, bright colours, patterns and textiles that help bring the show to life. Add to this beautiful costumes and more dress changes than can be counted, each more impressive, colourful and dazzling than the last, and the result is an opulent, rich and vibrant production.
Aladdin is on at the Prince Edward Theatre from 27th May 2016 until 11th February 2017. Book your tickets here.