When the Corner Shop PR invited me to join them for Disney’s 25th Anniversary of Aladdin’s cinematic release in November, I had not heard a great deal about the West End Production. I assumed that, like the film, it would be a show aimed predominantly at younger audiences.
Well I was wrong.
The energy is dazzling, the costumes are spectacular and the set is a beautifully constructed magical world flooded with the vibrant energy of the cast. Performing their version of the well known and much loved story of Aladdin, a street urchin who steals food from the marketplace in the streets of the fabled city, Agrabah. His adventures begin when he meets Princess Jasmine and falls prey to the malevolent Jafar’s wicked scheme to steal a magic lamp. When Aladdin rubs the lamp and unwittingly releases the genie, the show truly explodes into an exuberant, glittering extravaganza.
The genie, performed by Trevor Dion Nicholas. is a feast of glitter, sequins, sparkle and the energy to match his flamboyant character. He will have you laughing and tapping your feet. He will certainly tempt you to throw your arms in the air and join him when he sings the well known”Friend Like Me” (also featured in the animated film). His energy is infectious and he plays the role with flawless comic exuberance.
When I returned home with miniature souvenir lamps for my children, they wanted to know how the genie had fit into the lamp. And how did he get out? They didn’t ask me about the magic carpet ride. Or if they had a magic carpet. Because yes, the west end show does feature the iconic magic carpet ride to the song, “A Whole New World”. How do they do it? You will need to watch the show to find these answers for yourself. No spoilers here.
Although the story is the same as the Disney animated classic, the jazz hands and theatrics of the West End show ensures that this is suitable for a wide range of ages. The theatre guidelines state that the show is suitable for children from age 6, but I would perhaps not take my six year old to see this version of Aladdin. Personally I think that it is too long and that it has parts where he may lose interest. My 9 year old, however, would adore this show and I fully intend buying tickets to take her to see Aladdin at The Prince Edward theatre in the very near future.