Let me tell you a secret: I never had the urge to see Aladdin in the West End, purely because it took over Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre and I feel like Miss Saigon’s revival run was cut way too short. It’s my third favourite musical and it deserves permanent residence in London.
Let me tell you a confession: ALADDIN IS BLOODY BRILLIANT! WHAT A SPECTACLE! I LOVED IT, I LOVED IT, I LOVED IT AND I NEED TO SEE IT AGAIN AND AGAIN! PRINCE ALIIIIII, MIGHTY IS HE! ALI ABABWA!
“Come for the humous, stay for the stage show.” With a few small adaptations mainly the humanising of characters (such as Iago and Abu, who was replaced with ‘three muskateers’) and the revelation of how Aladdin came to be a street-rat, the stage show stayed true to the original 1992 animation. For those not familiar with the tale of Aladdin (and really, where on earth have you been living?!), it tells the story of a poor boy who falls in love with a princess and with the help of a Genie who grants him three wishes, he is able to defeat the wicked vizier; Jafar.
I will defy all reviews that claim this musical is merely an ‘expensive pantomime’. The combination of the exquisite costumes, spectacular staging and the beautiful musical score serves to deliver a memorable and entertaining evening (… or matinee). It’s a Disney adaptation done well…
We booked to sit in the Boxes and Loges LG6.1 which was literally like our own private box. It offered a tremendous view of the stage and we were so close, too. We felt as though we were part of the performance… and we did get a few smiles from a certain Aladdin.
I always fancied Aladdin when I was a kid and apparently, nothing has changed now I’m a few years older. Matthew Croke as the title role was incredible. His Aladdin had the perfect mixture of cheekiness, charm and sensitivity. Not only does he have the looks but he has the perfect voice to match. Proud of your Boy delivered depth behind his loveable rogue character and his rendition was incredible. He was born for this role.
Undeniably, the star of the show was Trevor Dion Nicholas as the Genie. There’s no denying the late Robin Williams left big boots to fill for this role, but Trevor shone and he was INSANE! For an incredibly demanding role, he put in 110% and his passion for the role was evident through his enthusiasm which made for a memorable watch. He made me laugh to the point where I physically hurt and holy heck, he can SING! What an incredible talent.
Jade Ewen perfectly captured the role of Jasmine. Though there were moments where I would have preferred a little more projection in her voice, she encapsulated the head-strong and beautiful princess wonderfully. My favourite thing about her character is how she stands up for what she truly believes in and that is an incredibly important message for anyone, regardless of age. The chemistry between herself and Aladdin was utterly wonderful, I was reduced to tears. I know, it doesn’t take much to make me cry…
It was an an absolute spectacle to watch. A Whole New World was so perfectly executed and it made my inner-10-year-old beam (and tear up). I urge you to rub a lamp and join them on their magic carpet ride. What a show!