The West-End Theatre Review: Aladdin, The Musical, London
Review: Jennifer Bonfield
A show-stealing Genie and costumes to rival ‘Strictly’; a fun, panto-esque adaptation of Disney’s Aladdin.
When I asked my other half (who has never seen a West-End show – what the heck!) ) if he wanted to go see Aladdin, The Musical, he replied with excitement: “Is it a pantomime?!” Me: “Er, no, it’s a musical darling”. However, it turns out, he wasn’t far wrong – in a totally great way.
US creatives have brought this Broadway adaption of Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ to London’s Prince Edward Theatre in Soho. An apt location for this all-singing, all-dancing show with fantastically opulent set design (an impressive job from designer Bob Crowley), with a special mention for the ‘Magic Carpet’ scene, and lavish costumes that shimmy and sparkle like they were meant for show-stopping moves under ‘Strictly’s’ glitter-ball.
Aladdin, (played by Matthew Croke) was lacking a little charisma and cheeky-chappie charm to really hold his own on what was a stage of fun and attention-grabbing cast; Jafar relished the audience’s boos’, and his sidekick Iago added humour, plenty of laughs, and was a much more prominent character than in the original film. Iago deservedly captured a warm affection from the audience for his dopey, excitable humour.
The real star of the show is Genie, played by Trevor Dion Nicholas, who has been imported from the US Broadway show. A wise decision by producers as attempting to fill the nations favourite comedy legend, Robin Williams’ sparkly shoes from the iconic 1992 film, is no mean feat. Nicholas metaphorically and literally lights up the stage and brings a magically mesmerising performance with big, brash and totally mind-sticking songs such as ‘Friend Like Me’ and ‘Prince Ali’, which you’ll be tapping your toes to and desperately trying not to burst into song (unless you’re my brother-in-law who actually just did that anyway), and if nothing else, you’ll certainly be humming along to it for weeks after.
There’s a good-looking hero (Aladdin), a pretty princess (Jasmine), a dame (Genie), a baddy (Jafar) and some great sidekicks. This is a laugh-out-loud, camp, all-singing, all-dancing spectacular and one to take everyone along for some good old British, panto-inspired (with American accents!) fun.
Prince Edward Theatre , Soho
Running until Saturday July 27 2019