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