Have you ever wanted to see a magical carpet ride? Glittering costumes? A genie come to life? Sets that take you away to another world? Music to fill you with song?
If so, then you've got to get yourself a ticket to see Aladdin The Musical in the West End. Having wanted to see it for ages, I recently had the opportunity to see it on stage at London's Prince Edward Theatre. This is a stunning, dazzling show that is guaranteed to put you in a great mood!
It is clear that a lot of care was put into bringing Disney's much-loved film to life - a tricky task, especially for passionate fans who will undoubtedly be making comparisons back to the film. Fans familiar with the film will notice some differences. For instance, Abu (Aladdin's monkey and best friend) and Rajah (Jasmine's best friend and devoted tiger) don't appear in the musical, but are substituted with male and female entourages for Aladdin and Jasmine, respectively. There are also a few new songs that have been composed especially for the musical which are fun, though not as catchy as the original score.
There are some standout performances during the show. The Genie is played by Trevor Dion Nicholas, a brilliant, larger than life performer who steals the show. Sharp and witty with a terrific voice and comedic timing, he really brings the show to life. The scene where the Genie explains to Aladdin (played by Matthew Croke) all the amazing things he could wish for while inside the cave is a spectacular, fun-filled confectionary moment with a set completely decked out in glittering gold, and accompanied by elaborate costumes, lights, fantastic choreography., and a bit (or a lot) of magic. There were a few children sitting near me in the audience. Seeing the awe and wonder on their faces was simply magical during this scene.
Another favourite is the scene where the Genie turns Aladdin into a sultan for his first wish and takes the parade and spectacle to Jasmine's palace. The sparkling costumes, choreography, music, and sets for this scene are again spectacular!
One of the most magical parts of the show though is the magic carpet ride taken by Jasmine and Aladdin. The entire theatre goes dark, transforming into a starry night sky where the magic carpet soars across the stage. It's enough to take your breath away! Jasmine is played by Jade Ewen, formerly of the band, Sugababes, and the UK's representative in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009. Her vocals are stunning and she brings some wonderful star power to the show.
Although the show might not feel as professional as some of the more established West End musicals, it is a fun-filled, family friendly show that will lift your spirits - and isn't that what is most important in today's age filled with negative daily news? As you leave the theatre, it'll be hard to stop singing and dancing on your way to the tube to go home!
For tickets, go to the official website for more details here. There are also some great sites that I like to use to find lower-priced tickets to see the show. Some of my favourites are Today Tix, Lastminute.com, See, or London Theatre Direct.