You may or may not remember, a while ago I did a blog of reasons to be excited about Aladdin following it's West End announcement of it riding into The Prince Edward Theatre, after being a huge hit on Broadway since 2014, and it was finally time to have my wishes granted and experience the magic of Agrabah for myself on it’s first official opening night.
Following on from the previous blog, I'm going to give you my review in 5 reasons of why you simply MUST experience the magic for yourself!
1. The Story - In truth, despite still adoring it, Aladdin is somewhere in the middle of my "favourite Disney films" list, but there's no doubt in the fact Aladdin is a story that we all know and love, especially for the 1992 Disney animated film. However, it is also a pantomime classic.
It tells a Romeo and Juliette-esque story of a street rat and princess that fall in love that's crammed with drama, comedy, magic and fun. The story in this exciting stage production was told rather true to form, but in more of a pantomime style, which surprised me slightly (as I had avoided too many spoilers!) and it took me a little while to get used to this, but once I had, I was fully invested and simply fell in love with it’s brilliant comedy and sense of magic.
2. The Music – I mentioned this in the previous blog, but there’s no denying Friend Like Me and A Whole New World are an absolute treat to hear live, both musically and visually. As well as that, you get to hear other much loved tracks like One Jump Ahead, Prince Ali and Arabian Nights, along with songs cut from the film and new songs especially for the stage version like Diamond In The Rough and Proud Of Your Boy which will have Disney nerds rejoicing.
You may even spot some other Disney classics sneak in! Kudos to Alan Menken, Tim Rice and Howard Ashman for creating this genius score and lyrics, along with many others!
3. The Genie! – Okay, so the entire cast/characters are brilliant, but it’s obvious that Trevor Dion Nicholas as the Genie completely steals the show. He has the audience in the palm of his hands from the get-go, and keeps them there throughout with his high-energy and hysteria.
4. The Production Values – The production on the whole is simply stunning, I had chills and was in awe at how beautiful the cave of wonders and the magic carpet were. Despite trying my best to avoid spoilers, I had watched a behind the scene of the set building and it was beyond impressive, as are the costumes and props too. It’s simply bursting with colour, flare, glitter, confetti, fun, surprises and magic.
5. It's Full Of FUN! – Simply, I thought it was a brilliant show. As mentioned earlier, it was panto-ish, but for this it worked and that is the type of characters the Genie and Jafar are. However, it’s inevitable that it’s wholesome family fun, crammed with everything you expect from Aladdin from the great songs, to the drama, romance, hilarious comedy and wonder. In fact, I cried from both laughing and from the emotion!
It was such a privilege to witness this Disney classic on stage, and it’s easy to see why it’s been such a hit – the audience were even matching the cast’s energy. I highly recommend to all, especially any fellow avid Disney fans, because I guarantee you won’t leave without a smile!
Aladdin is booking at the Prince Edward Theatre through to 2017!
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