As the kids these days say it, I’m Disney “trash” [1].

Aside from the classics, I have seen the new Beauty and the Beast film five times, I know all the words to the songs from Tangled and I absolutely love the Star Wars and Marvel films, all of which are Disney property.

So yes, I would be lying if I didn’t come into the Broadway musical production of Aladdin with a tiny bit of bias – although this didn’t always help in my favour.

When I was waiting eagerly in line, I was starting to question whether my love for such a timeless film would be changed – as I’m sure many of you would be wondering the same.

“What if the musical ruins my childhood imagination? Will my love for the film be ruined? Oh, god forbid, what happens if the Genie doesn’t live up to the late, great Robin Williams’ legacy?” were some of the thoughts that rushed through my mind as I waited for the show to start.

Another one of these was “Holy s*** Waleed Aly and his family are sitting right next to me!” But that’s a story for another time.

After careful viewing and much enjoyment, I can easily say Aladdin the Musical is full the pure Disney magic you lived for as a child.

Although the classic songs return and the story is almost a carbon-copy of the original 1992 film, additional plot and character details, as well as new characters all together, give the story a breath of fresh air.

This allowed me, as much of a Disney fanatic I am, to view the show with new eyes.

When I reflect on the production, two things completely step out in my mind – the incredible costume design, and Michael James Scott’s new rendition of the iconic Genie.

Firstly, the costumes are beautiful. Bejewelled to the max; the way in which the diamonds shimmered from the reflection of the stage lights was almost (yes, I’m going to say it) magical.

The iconic colours and outfits of the original are used, from Aladdin’s chest baring get-up to Princess Jasmine’s iconic turquoise crop top and pants.

The cartoon is rather plain with its characters’ clothing, so to see not only the costumes come to life, but tailored for the stage with an incredibly intricate design was amazing to watch.

Secondly, and I’m sure this is the part you’re waiting for, Michael James Scott’s performance as the Genie was easily one of the most incredible theatre performances I’ve ever seen.

Although as pop culture-aware and fourth wall breaking as Williams’ Genie, Scott knew how to capture the audience with such ease.

His sassy, hilarious and high-energy performance created an all new and just as enchanting (another magic pun, I’m sorry!) interpretation. The classic “Friend Like Me” number is redone hilariously and with the aid of incredible music, set and lighting, received the only standing ovation in the middle of a show I’ve witnessed.

As a whole, the musical a stage show extravaganza, with the added mixture of Disney childhood nostalgia. It’s fun, thrilling and exciting, and left my mouth wide open from pure imagination – just like Disney did for my eight-year-old self.

Disney’s Aladdin is currently performing at Her Majesty Theatre until October. You have enough time to bring in that money on a student budget, because it will definitely be worth it!

[1] If you aren’t aware of popular youth slang, according to the Urban Dictionary, “trash” is “when your entire reason of existing is a certain thing, you are ____ trash. More obsessed than a fan, but not a stan.” I know. 2017 everyone.

Words by Meg Kennedy.


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