By: Suzanne Cleave, TRP Reviewer
Jump aboard the magic carpet and take a magical journey through Agrabah as Disney’s Aladdin heads to the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
From the moment the curtain lifts and the dazzling set of Agrabah is revealed, Aladdin is a spectacular feast for the eyes that will leave audiences spellbound.
This vibrant and magical production, based on one of Disney’s best-loved animation films, brings the story of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine to life with a combination of magical visuals, outstanding performances and treasured songs.
The production remains faithful to the original plot, as we follow poor low-level thief Aladdin who has a chance meeting with Princess Jasmine in the markets of Agrabah. Their eyes meet, but he knows that a princess would never fall in love with someone like him. Thanks to the cunning actions of royal advisor Jafar (Adam Strong), Aladdin gets sucked up in an unforgettable adventure.
One wrong move in the Cave of Wonders, allows Aladdin to get his hands on the magic lamp and meet the Genie, who grants him three wishes. But will he use them wisely and win the hand of Princess Jasmine?
The cast is brilliant – led by Aladdin (Gavin Adams) and Jasmine (Desmonda Cathabel), who both deliver outstanding performances. With the addition of some new songs, we get to see a more rounded picture of their personalities. For me, the star of the show is the larger-than-life Genie, played by Yeukayi Ushe. His charisma, energy and comedic timing all contributed to an outstanding performance.
Mention must also be made of Babkak (Nelson Bettencourt), Omar (Adam Taylor) and Nay-Nay (Kassim) – Aladdin’s three cheeky sidekicks. Almost taking over the role of Abu the monkey in the original film, they were also hilarious, and their performance during High Adventure drew lots of laughs!
The production is filled with well-loved musical numbers such as ‘Arabian Nights’, ‘Friend Like Me’ and ‘A Whole New World’, as well as some new songs – ‘Proud of Your Boy’, beautifully sung by Aladdin, and ‘These Palace Walls’ were two that are sure to become audience favourites.
One of the standout elements of the production is the flawless set design. Often simple, but ever so clever with the use of different colours and lights, the set transports you from the bustling markets of Agrabah to the jaw-dropping Cave of Wonder with ease. Then there’s the magic carpet itself, set against a backdrop of sparkling stars – which drew gasps from some of the younger members of the audience.
Disney’s Aladdin is a spectacular stage show which I would recommend to all. It’s the perfect remedy to the January blues. You’re guaranteed to leave the theatre with a smile on your face!