Hubby is getting better a picking up hints now and it only took a couple of mentions about how much I wanted to see Aladdin for him to buy us tickets for my birthday.
We headed into London mid-afternoon and had a wander around Covent Garden, watching some of the performers swallowing balloons, riding unicycles and singing and stopping for a bite to eat before heading to the Prince Edward Theatre which is just North of Leicester Square on Old Compton Street.
The theatre itself is stunning and has an upstairs bar where you can sit outside on the balcony and watch the world go by below, as you wait for the performance to start.
Hubby managed to book some amazing seats so I was even more excited once we got seated and waited for Aladdin to begin.
The show opened with the genie, who whisked off us to the world of Agrabah and the Disney version of the story of Aladdin.
The sets were breathtaking, the costumes were stunning and the cast were brilliant too, bringing the magic of Disney’s Aladdin to life. I have only ever seen Aladdin as a pantomime and have to admit that I wanted to shout “Boooo” at Jafar when he came on stage, but it instead of a cheesy pantomime, you get a musical extravaganza with all the songs from the classic Academy Award®-winning film including ‘Friend Like Me’, ‘A Whole New World’ and ‘Arabian Nights’.
Aladdin doesn’t take itself too seriously and it was packed full of jokes and fun which kept it bouncing along from beginning to end. Matthew Croke and Jade Ewen were perfectly cast as Aladdin and Jasmine, but it was Trevor Dion Nicholas who stole the show as the mad cap genie, who had boundless energy on stage and completed the fun with mind-blowing special effects.
The one difference from the film is that there was no Aboo, instead Aladdin had three ‘sidekicks’, Babkak, Omar and Kassim who provided a lot of the comedy and Iago was a human, rather than a parrot, although they did reference that early on.
They even kept in the magic carpet which appeared to float through the air with no strings attached – how they did it, I don’t know.
We both thoroughly enjoyed the show and think it is the perfect one to introduce the kids to the West End as it has that pantomime element to it that they will enjoy.
Next on my list is School of Rock. Have you seen any West End shows you would recommend?