My all-time favourite Disney movie is Aladdin. As a child, many a Saturday night was spent watching Aladdin and over the years we memorised every word, every song lyric. So when I heard Aladdin was coming to the West End, there was no question about going, it was just a question of when. My wish was fulfilled on Tuesday this week.
As you can imagine I had high expectations going in and I wasn’t disappointed (entirely). The real credit has to go to designer Bob Crowley (for London’s most impressive sets) and Trevor Dion Nicholas (The Genie) who’s mesmerising and enigmatic performance made the show. Iago’s parrot to human transformation worked well (the voice was spot on) but Abu was missed. The flying carpet scene is pure magic – how they pulled that off completely baffles me but it was mind blowing. The special effects will leave you awe struck – smoke, disappearing acts and fireworks are just some of them!
I’ve seen quite a number of West End musicals and I have to say that I expected more, vocally, from both the leads (Aladdin & Jasmine). Don’t get me wrong, their voices are amazing but not up to the standard I’ve seen on other shows (Wicked for example). Purists of the film will notice the artistic liberties taken with the narrative but nothing too far-fetched. The cheesy jokes do go a touch too far but you’re so distracted by the glitz and glamour on stage, you’ll laugh anyway. The songs are all the originals with a few extra thrown in for good measure.
All in all, it’s a great feel good family show – you’ll be beguiled by the colours, characters and pure energy that emanates from the stage.
Aladdin is showing at The Prince Edward theatre in Soho.