Two weekends ago, Ashley and I went to see Aladdin the Musical at the Prince Edward Theatre, Soho. I’d heard and seen mixed reviews, both online and from some of the work girls – so I was looking forward to seeing the show and making up on my own mind.
Prince Edward Theatre is in the heart of the West End, on Old Compton Street, so there’s plenty to do before and after the performance. I’d never been to the theatre before, but it was lovely – a decent size with a bar, which never got too busy. We were sat in the stalls, only a few rows from the back – but our view wasn’t impaired in any way and the acoustics were still really clear. The auditorium was quite warm, but I think that was down to the number of people and all the lighting needed for the set. That would be my only complaint – it wasn’t long before my glass of prosecco turned warm and our share-size bag of Minstrels melted!
First of all, I have to mention the stage – because it was absolutely incredible. The Arabian theme was evident throughout and the costumes and other props were fabulous! I loved the cave scene, with all the gold and lighting, which looked really spectacular – especially with all the special effects. The magic carpet scene with Aladdin and Jasmine gave me goose bumps, as soon as they started singing ‘A Whole New World’; it was truly magical and nobody had any idea how the carpet was floating across the stage! The market and rooftop scenes were equally as good – in fact, the performance as a whole was amazing and you could see the amount of work that had been put in to make it special and successful!
The acting was really good and although I’d not heard of any of the cast before (aside from Jade Ewen), I was really impressed. In fact, I’d go as far as saying Jade was the perfect choice to play Princess Jasmine and I was pleasantly surprised to find she could sing. The stand-out character had to be the genie (played by Trevor Dion Nicholas, who was making his West End debut, having performed on Broadway). You may have seen him on the billboards and other advertisements across London – and he certainly didn’t disappoint. He was hilarious, really encapsulating the genie, the same way that Robin Williams did in the 1992 Disney Classic.
All of the songs from film were included: ‘Arabian Nights’, ‘A Whole New World’, ‘Friend Like Me’ and ‘Prince Ali’... But I also liked that new songs were written especially for the West End adaptation (a bit like Matilda the Musical). The lyrics were written by Tim Rice – and it showed.
I’m so pleased I got to see Aladdin as I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. While some people have been referring to it as ‘panto-esque’, I didn’t think that was the case at all – it was funny, but by no means OTT. And while, in my opinion, it wasn’t as good as The Lion King (which we see this month, by the way) – I don’t think anything could surpass that and the two simply cannot be compared.
Aladdin is on at the Prince Edward Theatre until the end of September (Monday to Saturday) with tickets priced from £29.75. The matinee shows (on Thursday and Saturday) start at 2:30pm, with the evening performances from 7:30pm. The performance is two and a half hours, with an interval. More details here.
Love, Lucy xx