REVIEW: Aladdin is simply sensational and a supreme spectacle

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The highly anticipated UK & Ireland Tour of Disney's beloved Broadway and West End sensation, Aladdin, takes flight in Milton Keynes from Wednesday, April 24th, to Sunday, May 19th.

The tale follows Aladdin, a street urchin and Princess Jasmine, the beautiful daughter of the Sultan, whose father is trying to marry her off to any “Tom, Dick or Hazeem” After a chance encounter where their paths cross, Aladdin's fate takes a dramatic turn when he discovers a mystical oil lamp, unleashing the infinite power of a larger-than-life genie, brimming with wit and magic. Bound by newfound friendship, Aladdin and the genie find themselves thrust into a perilous quest, as they work to stop the malevolent schemes of the wicked sorcerer Jafar, who seeks to seize the throne and plunge Jasmine's kingdom into darkness.

Starring Gavin Adams as Aladdin (a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music,) Gavin will be making his professional debut in the title role, alongside Desmonda Cathabel as Jasmine (Miss Saigon, From Here to Eternity) Also a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music. Yeukayi Ushe (Disney’s The Lion King, A Strange Loop, Kinky Boots and Motown The Musical) plays Genie.

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They are joined by Adam Strong as Jafar, Angelo Paragosa as Iago, Jo Servi as Sultan, Nay-Nay as Kassim, Adam Taylor as Omar, and Nelson Bettencourt as Babkak.

Aladdin's GenieAladdin's Genie
Aladdin's Genie

The overture sets the stage perfectly, immediately immersing the audience in the enchanting melodies that will guide us through the journey ahead.

As we step into the bustling market against the enchanting backdrop of the silhouetted city of Agrabah, our senses are instantly dazzled by a kaleidoscope of colours and exuberance. Bedouin tents, market stalls, and peddlers adorn the stage, offering a feast for the eyes with their array of treasures—from carpets to lanterns, ornate turbans, traditional fezzes, woven baskets overflowing with fruits and flowers to tantalizing spices that we imagine, fill the air with their aromatic allure.

The attention to detail in recreating the vibrant hustle and bustle of Agrabah's marketplace is mesmerising, immersing the audience in a sensory journey that sets the stage for the magical adventure that unfolds before our eyes.

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The creative team have fashioned a show with outstanding production values from enchanting and powerful music, (the small band gave an impression of a much larger orchestra) wonderful songs spectacular sets and props, sensational costumes, exotic lighting, stylised choreography, amazing special effects, fight scenes, hair and makeup. Well, this is Disney after all, and no expense has been spared.

The opulent sets came one after another, each one wowing the audience with spectacle, opulence, and glory. Aladdin’s cave is mesmerisingly magical, whilst the scene when Jasmine and Aladdin fly through the night aboard a magic carpet is masterfully magnificent.

Costumes were beautiful, flamboyant, and brightly designed giving the flavour of the East. The dance was at times beautiful then humorously and interestingly stylised, again giving us a sense of where we are. Then the large tap number was always going to be a thrill for the audience.

The cast is fabulously diverse and amazing from leads to ensemble with each person giving their all.

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Aladdin and Jasmine's voices were perfect, and their harmonies, beautiful. I have not heard such accurate singing in a show as this, for years and no wonder, as both crafted their talent at the Royal Academy of Music, so are musicians in their own right, and their acting and dancing were supreme too, making them the perfect couple to play the roles which led throughout with energy and meticulous delivery.

Genie was superb, again a complete all-rounder. He made the part entirely his own and the audience was in stitches by his comic genius and wowed by his acting, singing, and dancing. The evil Jafar and the hilarious funny man Iago made the perfect wicked duo.

I didn’t stop smiling and left the theatre buzzing, as did the rest of the audience. The show ticked every box and was certainly one of the best, if not the best family show to hit Milton Keynes in ages.