Back in 1992 noone at Disney thought their latest film would one day become the smash hit worldwide musical sensation that it is today. Alan Menken has once again proven his musical genius as new songs and old weave together to create a spell binding musical score.
One thing is clear throughout this show, it rests very heavily on the Genie, in this case played by the magnificent Trevor Dion Nicholas. Trevor is absolutely sensational as the Genie and is the magic ingredient this production needs. He is witty, has a fantastic singing voice, and has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand throughout the entire show. Aladdin is played by Dean John-Wilson who again has an excellent blend of comedy and acting talent with a beautifully smooth singing voice. Jasmine, played by Jade Ewen, is the weakest link in the trio but is still a wonderfully talented actress. Her downfall was the new song written for Jasmine but this is as much the song as her.
For the staging of Aladdin Disney decided to still include the part of Iago, Jafar's parrot, but as a human character. This works really well with Peter Howe, Iago, and Don Gallagher, Jafar, having a brilliant on stage chemistry. Sometimes this comedic chemistry was borderline pantomime in its nature which although I found amusing some audience members might not.
Aladdin would not be Aladdin if it was not for the magic carpet! I still have no idea how this was achieved, although I have a number of theories. I do not want to put any spoilers on here as it is a truly magical moment in the show so I will just say the carpet is in it, they ride it, my jaw dropped to the floor!
As stated above the musical score for this show is superb and the 16 piece orchestra do a fantastic job at bringing it to life. Along with the set the music transports the audience to a far away place where they can wonder at the spectacles before them.
Disney's The Lion King has been playing in London for over 15 years and based on this performance, as long as Trevor Dion Nicholas is prepared to play the Genie for a long time, Aladdin is sure to follow. So make sure you get your ticket to experience another Arabian Night out in London.
Aladdin is playing at the Prince Edward Theatre in London. For more information and tickets visit the shows website.