Prince Edward Theatre, London
There’s always room for a little injection of Disney magic and Aladdin, which is booking at the Prince Edward Theatre until 27 July 2019, is just that. It’s not a life-altering, thought-provoking piece of theatre but it’s a whole lot of fun, mountains of sparkle and enough magic to enthral children and adults alike.
If you’re unaware of the story, Aladdin follows a street urchin who is hustling his way through life. That is, until he meets the Princess of Agrabah and his life becomes a little more wild. As the prophesied ‘Diamond in the Rough’, Aladdin gets his hands on a lamp which contains a magical Genie, who will grant him three wishes. He ventures to find love and escape the dark characters who are on his tail in this mystical story.
Aladdin (played by Matthew Croke) is lovable and charming in all the ways you could desire. With a beautiful voice and fantastic stage presence he leads the show perfectly. Croke’s rendition of ‘Proud of Your Boy’ is truly moving and a wonderful moment of calm among an all-singing, all-dancing musical. His Jasmine is played by Courtney Reed who is dazzling and brings a feminist, sassy quality to the character that transfers fantastically on stage. Reed’s vocal performances are equally as enchanting and when the pair join for the iconic duet ‘A Whole New World’ they not only do the film version justice, but put their own mystical spin on it.
The rest of the cast is highly talented, as shown by the various dance numbers which are performed with enthusiasm and precision. Similarly to the film, it’s the Genie (played by Trevor Dion Nicholas) who utterly steals the show. With incredible comedic flair and dramatic prowess, Nicholas earns rapturous applause in every scene. Act One closer ‘Friend Like Me’ is a glistening gem in this production.
A spin of colour, created by Bob Crowley’s sets and Gregg Barnes’ costumes, Aladdin is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. The sides of the stage do feel a little underused as they are completely bare, but the black box effect strangely makes the stage look like a television which works for this show.
There are times when the show does feel a bit pantomime-esque, but there’s no denying that it caters to the vast audience of tourists, theatre newbies, children, theatre regulars and adults very well. Aladdin pleasantly surprises and impresses.
The mix of comedy, romance, fantastic performances and magic, mean something is provided for everyone and you can’t help but feel whisked up in the wonder of it all.
Aladdin is currently booking at the Prince Edward Theatre until July 27th
For more information and tickets, visit: www.londonboxoffice.co.uk