In A Whole New World... Who Would You Cast?
| By Harry Tennison
Undoubtedly, Disney’s transfer of Aladdin the Musical is the most exciting thing to happen in the West End musicals since Miss Saigon returned – rather ironic since it is now replacing the epic musical at the Prince Edward Theatre. Tickets go on general sale towards the end of November with the first preview on the 27th May, but we so far as to hear very little casting information.
Whilst managing to get Trevor Dion Nicholas to hop across the pond to reprise his fantastic performance as The Genie is a major coup, I started to wonder who, in an ideal world, we could see grace the sandy stage of Agrabah in March.
Starting at the top, who can we have as our Arabian heartthrob? My number one choice would be Liam Tamne: the former ‘The Voice’ contestant has already appeared in Wicked and Les Miserables, and was superb when I saw him as Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera. His superb vocals would make songs like 'One Jump Ahead' easy on the ears, and his dancing prowess has been proven already during a run in Hairspray. There are also rumours that Dean-John Wilson is in early negotiations for the part following some solid performances in the revival of Songs For A New World at the St. James’ Theatre, and the National’s Here Lies Love.
Jasmine undoubtedly has to be played by Eva Noblezada. She had the bonus of knowing the Prince Edward Theatre like the back of her hand, having played Kim there since 2013. Her voice is certainly one of the strongest in the West End right now. Plus, giving the immense emotion required to bring Kim to life, she may looking for something a little bit lighter to get her teeth into! Jade Ewen, from the Sugababes, has also been linked to the part following star turns in the Regant Park’s Open Air Theatre’s production of Poggy and Bess, and the critically acclaimed In The Heights.
For the villainous Jafar, Ramin Karimloo could bring his enviable voice and acting skills back to the West End which has been absent of this enormous talent since 2013. As seen by his transformation into Jean Valjean, Karimloo would be easily able to appear as the elderly Jafar whilst possessing a voice strong enough to send shivers down even those right at the top of the upper circle (the Prince Edward does not have a balcony).
I would like to see Ethan Le Phong feature somewhere in the cast after his superb appearances as Thuy in Miss Saigon, with the parts of Kassim, Babkak, Omar and Iago – that’s right, the bird! – all up for grabs.
Whether I am right or wrong, we are definitely in for a treat as this Broadway hit swings into London ready to bring another one of the most lived Disney films to life. Who would you cast for Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre?