What’s it all about?
It’s a story you’ll almost certainly know, albeit in a whole host of different guises. Welcome to Agrabah, an arid desert metropolis of palaces, bazaars, swashbuckling adventure and one big class divide; a fitting setting, then, for Disney’s Aladdin, the definitive rags-to-riches tale.
A poor, young and naïve street urchin finds his fortunes jettisoned towards royalty through the discovery of a magic lamp and a magical genie with a taste for the musical spectacular. Along the way, he encounters bustling marketplaces, an envious advisor with sinister plans, the majestic Cave of Wonders, love, friendship, royal processions, magic flying carpets and the need to be true to himself and those around him.
Who’s in it?
Having made the role his own on Broadway, Trevor Dion Nicholas’ sheer stage presence within the iconic role of the Genie is tremendous. Nicholas’ flawless comic timing and exuberant vivacity lights up the stage and, in a role of which many will have high expectations, his is an outstanding, show-stealing performance.
Dean John-Wilson and Jade Ewen make a fine pair of outcasts as Aladdin and Jasmine respectively, while Aladdin’s hitherto unfeatured trio of street urchin comrades, Babkak (Nathan Amzi), Omar (Rachid Sabitri) and Kassim (Stephen Rahman-Hughes), make a brilliantly comical addition to the fray through some brazen exploits in pursuit of their next meal.
What should I look out for?
Every ounce of the title’s imagery living up to – and in many cases surpassing – the hype, with some wonderfully intricate, detailed and awe-inspiring design work shining at the fore. In its sets, special effects, lighting – not to mention magic carpet rides – Disney’s Aladdin is a showcase of boundless theatrical imagination.
More costume changes than for your average Eurovision Song Contest presenter, every one beautifully lavished with rich detail, vibrant colours and no shortage of glitter.
The spontaneous ovation guaranteed to greet one particular song night after night. Coming at the culmination of a memorable production number in which the show reaches jaw-dropping heights, you won’t be able to help but holler in favour of this (quite literal) showstopper.
Who was in the press night crowd?
At the glitzy black-tie do, Official London Theatre mingled with stars aplenty, including fellow Disney franchise Star Wars’ past and future in Mark Hamill and John Boyega, along with performer favourites Andrew Scott, Cynthia Erivo, Luke Evans, Ricky Wilson and Rufus Hound.
In a nutshell?
Dazzling, spectacular, unmissable; Disney’s Aladdin will lift you to a whole new world with a sumptuous treat for the eyes and a sonorous delight for the ears.
What’s being said on Twitter?
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) June 16, 2016
— Jenni Falconer (@Jennifalconer) June 16, 2016
Will I like it?
Bursting from the big screen in 1992 to the blockbuster West End stage in 2016, Disney’s Aladdin absolutely goes for it. The result is admirably ambitious and utterly spectacular, recreating all of your favourite moments from the film and doing full justice to Alan Menken’s soaring score, while throwing in some imaginative new subplots, characters and songs to keep things fresh.
Perfect for all ages, expect to emerge with the broadest, most gleeful and inner-child-like grin on your face. Disney’s Aladdin shimmers with pure, unadulterated, often boisterous, fun, so sit back and allow it to whisk you away.