REVIEW: Aladdin musical is 'magic carpet ride' in London's West End

Genius Trevor Dion Nicholas shone as the quick-tongued genie who made the whole night a partaaaaay!
Genius Trevor Dion Nicholas shone as the quick-tongued genie who made the whole night a partaaaaay!
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Disney's spectacular Aladdin musical is a 'magic carpet ride'...a Whole New World of theatre-going, writes Nik Farah.

From the exceptional staging and memorable songs to superb cast, this production - currently showing at Prince Edward Theatre, on Old Compton Street - is one of the most exciting pieces of live theatre I’ve ever seen.

A night in Soho turned into a magical carpet ride with Ethan Le Phong’s cheeky chap Aladdin at the helm. And what a journey it was!

BUY TICKETS: Aladdin, at the Prince Edward Theatre in London's West End, is booking until July 8, 2017 - seats from £42.25. Visit www.princeedwardtheatre.co.uk
Our first glimpse into the world of Aladdin is a bustling marketplace and - as the moving sets allow us to follow ‘Ali’ as he scarpers from rooftop to rooftop, on the run from the law - the pace never slows down.

From the first exciting musical number and ensuing adventures, to the breathtaking royal parade and satisfying ending, I was utterly lost in the spellbinding world of Aladdin.

There were clear highlights: stunning costume changes and stage trap-doors that made for amazing entrances and exits; the incredible treasure trove set that was the golden cave and so many great moments - particularly the magical carpet ride through the blanket of stars outside Jasmine’s bed-chamber - #NoStrings!

I particularly loved the friendship between Aladdin and his merry band of friends - Babkak, Omar and Kassim - played to perfection by the hilarious motley crew of Nathan Amzi, Rachid Sabitri and Stephen Rahman-Hughes.

Trevor Dion Nicholas shone - and I do mean SHONE - as the quick-tongued genie who made the whole night a partaaaaay!

Don Gallagher’s Jafar and Jermaine Wood’s Iago made for the perfect Panto team, with an array of zingers and one-liners guaranteed to leave you groaning (with delight) “oh no they didn’t!” Boo-inspiring but awesome.

And despite wishing I could request a little more projection from her in some of the songs, I thought Jade Ewen perfectly captured the headstrong and beautiful Princess Jasmine.

Disney princess Jasmine, played by Jade Ewen, with Aladdin performers in the hit West End show. Photo: Deen van Meer  Disney

Disney princess Jasmine, played by Jade Ewen, with Aladdin performers in the hit West End show. Photo: Deen van Meer Disney

It wasn’t until the end of the evening I discovered we were watching the understudy Aladdin, as Ethan Le Phong slotted in seamlessly to the show’s title role, covering for a poorly Dean John-Wilson. I’ve no doubt we’re seeing a star in the making here and I look forward to seeing more this guy.

All this was topped off by a wonderful ensemble of great singers and dancers, doing all those great things that great singers and dancers do...and making us all wish we could join them for a bounce around in the aisles.

In the end, the musical pays great tribute to the much-beloved film - never taking any moments away that we might miss, only offering much more than the original.

Shining, shimmering, splendid; we love you Aladdin The Musical...

Disney's Aladdin in rehearsals. Photo: Johan Persson  Disney

Disney's Aladdin in rehearsals. Photo: Johan Persson Disney

BUY TICKETS: Aladdin, at the Prince Edward Theatre in London's West End, is booking until July 8, 2017 - seats from £42.25. Visit www.princeedwardtheatre.co.uk
* This production, which contains theatrical smoke and fog effects, pyrotechnics, strobe lighting and loud noises is recommended for theatre-goers aged six-years and over.

Aladdin at Prince Edward Theatre. Photo:  Deen van Meer  Disney

Aladdin at Prince Edward Theatre. Photo: Deen van Meer Disney

Disney's Aladdin in rehearsals Stephen Rahman-Hughes (Kassim) Nathan Amzi (Babkak) and Rachid Sabitri (Omar). Photo: Johan Persson  Disney

Disney's Aladdin in rehearsals Stephen Rahman-Hughes (Kassim) Nathan Amzi (Babkak) and Rachid Sabitri (Omar). Photo: Johan Persson Disney

Disney's Aladdin in rehearsals. Photo: Johan Persson  Disney

Disney's Aladdin in rehearsals. Photo: Johan Persson Disney

19 August 2017......  Sarah Yates in period costume at the vintage fair at Lotherton Hall.  Picture Tony Johnson.

Vintage fair at Lotherton Hall draws colourful crowd for weekend of events