Walt Disney Theatricals aren’t ones to do things by halves, and their plans for Aladdin’s West End premiere suggest their latest UK opening is set to follow suit.
Earlier this week we joined press and theatre tastemakers to hear all about Disney’s Aladdin; set to open at London’s Prince Edward Theatre on 15 June.
Head of Walt Disney Theatricals, Thomas Schumacher, talked us through the key details of the new production while on stage at the Lyceum Theatre – current home of Disney’s The Lion King.
One thing became apparent very quickly… Everything about Aladdin screams Disney magic; the plush purple and gold imagery, the ambitious stage mechanics (magic carpet, anyone), a fashion magpie’s dream wardrobe – 337 costumes, no less – and the glorious cast members. The attention to detail here is really second to none.
Speaking to us about their new roles, Dean John-Wilson (Aladdin) and Jade Ewen (Jasmine) explained what an honour it was to be involved in the iconic show. Having only performed together a handful of times before tonight, their paired-down rendition of A Whole New Word is truly breathtaking. “This is only our fourth time singing together,” Jade admitted, while the pair said they were excited to start rehearsing soon.
Arguably the show’s shining star, Trevor Dion Nichols (Genie) will make his West End debut in the Disney production. Nichols comes from the record-breaking Broadway version of the show and was also there to dish the details on moving to London for the upcoming show. “This is my first time in London and I love it,” he said, revealing plans to bring his whole family to the capital. Here’s hoping he stays for good because his talent is unreal!
We were also treated to Nichols’ soulful performance of Friend Like Me, accompanied by a single piano here but present with the kind of gusto and character that you’d expect from any West End icon. We can’t wait to see this guy in action this summer.
Above all else, Schumacher tells us, is the brilliant Aladdin score. Music comes from Alan Menken, with lyrics from Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin. You’ll thank these music legends for all the songs that inevitably get stuck in your head after the show.
Is it June yet?!
Disney’s Aladdin is currently booking at London’s Prince Edward Theatre until 1 October, secure your seats at Ticketmaster.co.uk.