Last night I went to see Aladdin with my friend Gemma. It was our birthday present to each other, and I have to say I think we chose a very good gift!
When Aladdin first opened on Broadway I was intrigued by how they would have translated it to the stage, I’d seen and enjoyed Beauty and the Beast so hoped that Aladdin would get a West End transfer at some point. Last year it arrived, and while I haven’t heard as much about it as I’d expected to what I have heard has been positive.
We had really good seats, about halfway back in the dress circle and off to one side. They’d been labelled as potentially having a restricted view but we could see absolutely everything – even heads in front of us didn’t cause any problem, I’m pretty short so this is always a risk.
It was good that our view was unrestricted as there’s plenty to see. The show is bright, colourful and just brilliant fun. There are a few changes to the film that make some of the trickier parts to imagine translated much easier to put on the stage. The absolute highlight of the show was Trevor Dion Nicholas as the Genie. It must be so daunting to take on a role that was so brilliantly created by Robin Williams in the original movie, and it was great to see the little ways that the part had been tweaked to allow it to stand separate. Virtually all of my favourite moments came from the Genie.
I don’t want to talk about my favourite bits – I appreciated the fact I hadn’t heard and read anything about the staging so I don’t want to in turn spoil anything for anyone who is going to go and see it. And you really should be thinking about it.
I’ll leave you with this, the Broadway casts of The Lion King and Aladdin performing some of each other’s songs.