Let’s fly into colour on a flying carpet – Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre

Aladdin which is played at the Prince Edward Theatre is full of magic, wonder, colour, humour and delight what a magical musical extravaganza this live play production of Disney animated feature turned out to be.

Firstly Prince Edward Theatre is in my opinion is one of the most loveliest theatres in London. The seats are bright red, very comfy and quite spacious. The balconies above all elaborate with it’s design. I especially loved the miniature ones that come of from the main grand circle which these ones sit from 2 to 4 people.  The stage is big and the orchestra has a nice large spacious area just in front of the stage and covered by black cloth apart from the middle section which is open and the musical conductor can be seen. I was sat in the first row and even though the stage was slightly high all that I could not see was just the peoples feet but other than that the view I had was spectacular and I felt like royalty especially with the orchestra being right in front off me and through the gap I could see the musicians playing many various instruments.  There was one musician in particular that had to play lots of various instruments throughout the night from drums to the xylophone how he done it I don’t know but he had great timing and was a joy to watch at times.

This musical play is spectacular with it’s dancing, songs, music, costumes, humour, stage scenes, the gold cave, magic and magic carpet.  The only thing that let’s this magical Disney recreation down is unfortunately the main hero Aladdin (Dean John-Wilson). To me his acting did not come across very well and his voice for some reason made me laugh but for the wrong reasons.  However his sidekicks/friends make up for this fact as they bring a great comical element to the scenes that are played out with humours lines such as when they respond to Aladdin’s line “One of these days I am going to be stinking rich” they promptly say “You’re half way there already”. Such phrases like that makes this show highly comical and easy for any age to understand and laugh along to.  Jasmine the Princess (Jade Ewen) is a very beautiful young lady and plays out her character very well one particular scene where she pretends she is mad to get Aladdin out of trouble is very funny. The villain Jafar (Don Gallagher) who is dark and mysterious plays the role with great energy along with his very wicked laugh and his camp partner in crime gives the scenes that they play together a comical element. The Genie (Trevor Dion Nicholas) well he certainly was the star of the show.  He was highly comical in everyway in fact the first appearance we see of him he is dressed in a dazzling purple costume with a elephant head in front of his crutch. All his other costumes were also very acentric and glitter doused throughout.  He played out his character dazzling well, by being everything from comical to a dancing sensation. He sung such showstopper song such as ‘Friend Like Me’ and ‘Prince Ali’ which he shong through. In fact he shong through the whole of the show and made it the most memorable scenes. The Genie (Trevor) really does make this then into a top West-End production to go along and see despite the dull played out Aladdin. He really is a singing, dancing, and multi-costume-changing spectacle.

The scenes throughout the show are elaborate and moving from the colourful market where Aladdin and his sidekicks commit crimes of theft and chaos but always led on with much dancing, singing and humour. In the market this is where Aladdin meets Jasmine the Princess but he is unaware of her royalty status as he thinks she is just a normal lady visiting the area.  Aladdin and Jasmine gets into a little mischief due to Aladdin’s thiefing so they are chased by soldiers but they eventually escape for a brief while.  When Aladdin takes Jasmine to the rooftops where he lives this is where they sort of fall in love with each other.  Few moments later they are eventually captured and it is then revealed that to Aladdin that this was no normal lady he has been speaking to but in fact the Princess.  She goes off back to the palace and Aladdin is saved by the villain Jafar.  This is where the play now gets more exciting Jafar leads Aladdin to a sparkling gold covered cave which only Aladdin can enter. The reason for this was because Jafar wanted the magical lantern so be can wun Jasmines hand in marriage to become the future king. However Aladdin can only enter the cave. Aladdin discovers the lamp but he is tempated by a necklace so he grabs it and he then gets caved in. This is where Aladdin rubs the lamp and the Genie appears from the floor amongst a smoke effect.  The whole play has now turned from just colour and slight humour to a completely different play altogether from much wonder, magic, humour and a larger than life spectacular performances as the Genie (Trevor) has transformed everything because of his character and acting. I won’t spoil what happens from now on as the scenes that are played out by the Genie are very amusing and has to be seen with so much colour, comedy and magical elements to them all. Everyone knows how the story Aladdin plays out and that he does eventually get together with the great Jasmine and Jafar does not.

I would say to go along and see this panto type style show despite the fact Aladdin is a bit dull and odd but the Genie’s highly talented performance alone turns this whole show around and makes it the most spectacular, comical, singing, dancing sensation ever. Plus seeing the magical carpet (by Jim Steinmeyer) and the lavishly designed scenes such as the gold cave (by Bob Crowley) that is seen throughout the show.  The  choreographer also bombards the theatre with a instrumental musical sounding array of great music which is all sung and danced out to beautifully by the cast.

It really is ‘A whole new world’ to experience.

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