THEATRE REVIEW: Aladdin starring Dean John-Wilson & Jade Ewen

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE: Prince Edward Theatre

WHEN: 6/6, press night 15/6 booking to 11/2/17

Summer’s biggest blockbuster shows are arguably this very panto remake of the 1992 Disney musical and Harry Potter and The Cursed Child which open within days and a stone’s throw of each other in London’s West End.

  • Read on for details of the two big moments in this musical of the year so far

It was towards the end of the first half of a thoroughly enjoyable but not especially remarkable Aladdin that something jaw dropping happened. The set, which until this point had been little more than sufficient, transformed into a spectacular, jewel-filled cave complete with Strictly Come Dancing mirrorball and two of the characters just went for it with a showstopper to make Mary Berry proud.

Genie Trevor Dion Nicholas didn’t originate the Tony Award-winning role in the 2014 musical but utterly revels in it here with his booming voice, Beyonce moves and comic street talk. Together with fine Aladdin Dean John-Wilson (pictured above who we also loved earlier this year in Miss Atomic Bomb at the St James Theatre) they raise the roof during Friend Like Me.

We can think of one comparable moment in our theatre-going (Kate Fleetwood marks Kevin Spacey’s last night at the Old Vic during High Society with a mid-song standing ovation) but this was just an early Monday night preview crowd. The cheering would not stop and, although no-one was on their feet, it bodes well for this lovable show.

During the second half the final breathtaking moment is the magic carpet ride as Aladdin and his princess (Jade Ewen, excelling again after In The Heights earlier this year) fall in love singing Whole New World in a spectacular visual number that’s so easy to lose your heart to.

Elsewhere there’s much fun to be had booing arch baddies Don Gallagher and Peter Howe. In fact it’s very much like a pantomime which really shouldn’t work in midsummer but so effortlessly does.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Prince Edward Theatre. Tickets here.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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