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ALADDIN the musical at the Prince Edward Theatre

September 24, 2016

Aladdin means a great pantomime to most of us in the UK. We had a spectacular production of Aladdin last Christmas at the Birmingham Hippodrome. John Barrowman starred in an amazing production at the Hippodrome a few years back. I saw Barbara Windsor play Aladdin at the Birmingham Alexandra Theatre when I was a little boy. Disney’s transfer of their cartoon ALADDIN into a musical show at the Prince Edward in the West End therefore had a lot to live up to.

To be perfectly honest this show felt like a really big budget attempt to wow the audience with sets and costumes. It did not work for the guy next to me who slept through most of the show. I was mostly underwhelmed with aching cheeks from smiling trying to make the experience less painful to watch. The show has all of the ingredients of the pantomime but non of the lines, comedy routines, performances, stars, and most of all ritual audience participation. Everything was second rate in this show compared to Aladdin at the Hippodrome last Christmas. Well possibly except for Trevor Dion Nicholas who was a spectacular Genie. However even his performance was spoiled with such detail as the less than magical entrance by an obvious trap door stage lift with not enough smoke to disguise his rising from beneath the stage.

Disney can do it. “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Lion King”, and “Mary Poppins” are all great musical theatrical shows. This show feels more like a Disney theme park event which works when you are in a Disney theme park but not in one of the West End’s premier theatres. I am sure it will run for a few years filling seats with families wasting their money on spectacle without any substance. What a let down!



From → Theatre

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