Review: Aladdin The Musical ***
On Thursday 7th July 2016, my brother and I packed our bags and headed to London for our annual sibbling trip. We both love musical theatre so when we go to London, we cram in as many musicals as we can afford (time and money wise!) for our yearly fill.
This year, we chose 3 musicals which were all completely different… Disney’s Aladdin the Musical would kick off proceedings, followed by Funny Girl and In The Heights. Three shows over three days. It was going to be epic!
We arrived at the Theatre (Price Edward Theatre) for Aladdin the Musical, which is the same theatre I saw both Miss Saigon and Jersey Boys, plenty early enough to make use of the bar facilities before hand. It’s not the theatre without a tipple! We opted for the matinee as Aladdin has a Thursday and Saturday matinee making it great for school trips and family outings especially throughout the summer holidays. For all performances we opted for the ‘cheaper’ seats (still £50+ a pop mind), as when you’re seeing 3 shows, it gets a bit expensive! If money’s no object, absolutely go for the stalls or dress circle. You always get the best view of costumes and the best atmosphere. If however you’re on a budget my tip would be to go to SeatPlan.com where you can get the low down on the seats you’re looking to buy. Really helpful, especially where there are unknown rails or obstructions in the way.
Anyway, it was Thursday afternoon and the Disney Aladdin the Musical matinee. The show kicked off with a bright, colourful number and a pantomime like introduction from the Genie. It was funny and got the kids chuckling away and joining in, which is what Disney is all about!
The show contained all the classics from the movie you’d remember; “Friend Like Me” was brilliant – the Genie, played by Trevor Dion Nicholas was, for me, the stand out performance in the cast. Very funny, great comedic timing and something for the kids and adults alike. You would however expect him to be good at the role, having played the same role on Broadway.
Other stand out songs included the catchy, comical “Prince Ali,” and “Arabian Nights” but a special mention must go to “A Whole New World.” As Aladdin (played by Dean John-Wilson) and Jasmine’s (played by Jade Ewan) voices melted together in harmony, they quite literally flew through the sky on a magic carpet. I have absolutely no idea how it was done, but the whole set became a full night sky. It was a true spectacle and definitely up there with one of the most visually impressive scenes I’ve seen on the West End.
With great performances from several of the cast – Aladdin and Jasmine must be credited for a believable performance, enchanting as Disney musicals should be, it should be said that I think this is definitely one for the kids or Disney lovers. If you don’t really like Disney but love musicals, this probably isn’t for you. A little ‘pantomime’ in parts and saturated with ‘cheese’, if you’re wanting a serious musical head to In The Heights or Funny Girl or Les Mis… if however, you’re looking for a fun night out, with songs you can hum or sing along quietly to, or have a little boogy in your seats, this is your musical. A great family show with something to attract everyone’s attention.
Star rating ***
Pros: Light-hearted, familiar musical with something for all the family. Great visuals with the magic carpet and recognisable tunes throughout.
Cons: Can be a little pantomime in parts – not one for the lover of serious musicals.
Top tip: Go in and watch with the aim to have fun and you won’t be disappointed. Top tier seats still have great viewing so if you don’t want to spend £150+ on a ticket, the ones at £50 are perfectly fine, just check SeatPlan.com for the savvy deal!
And don’t forget my newly formed Youtube channel!