Disney's Aladdin is a glittering spectacular:  Yeukayi Ushe stars as the 'Genie of the Lamp' while Aladdin is played by Gavin Adams

Review: All that glitters – Aladdin gets

one of  Disney's magical makeovers!

The first thing I did was check my calendar – surely Milton Keynes Theatre’s pantomime season hadn’t arrived a mere three months after the last one finished, writes Alan Wooding.

      But this glittering stage version of Disney’s animated 1992 film Aladdin is something rather special. As stage musicals go, Aladdin is one of the most lavish I’ve ever seen with its flying carpet, stunning costumes and breathtaking scenery plus a great toe-tapping musical score from Alan Menken with lyrics by Sir Tim Rice. 

      However all are eclipsed by a tremendously talented cast in which the high energy performance from Yeukayi Ushe as the Genie of the Lamp is truly phenomenal as is one of the show’s best known numbers Friend Like Me which brings the curtains down on Act One. 

      The title role of Aladdin is superbly undertaken by relative newcomer Gavin Adams whose ‘have-a-go attitude’ and remarkable voice make him perfect for the role. He’s a true Disney-style hero while his Proud of Your Boy number – specially written for the stage version – is superbly performed.

      And while every prince needs a princess, the wonderful Desdemona Cathabel certainly fits that bill as Aladdin’s ‘love interest’, the headstrong and sometimes stroppy Princess Jasmine whose wonderful solo number These Palace Walls is absolutely beautiful.

      The whole production is extremely slick and while it’s really a pantomime with its goodies and baddies, it follows the original film, even to the extent that so many on stage have American accents – the 

exception being the evil Jafar who sounded as though he’d just left Eton. Played by Adam Strong, Jafar certainly gets the audience booing in the finale! 

      Meanwhile Jafar's henchman Iago (played by Angelo Paragaso) was full off fun and was a real crowd pleaser as were Aladdin’s three pals, Kassim (Nay-Nay), Babkak (Nelson Bettencourt) and Omar (Adam Taylor).

      The trio all had great voices and were involved in some really great choreography, especially in the Sultan’s Palace where they took on the royal guards in a sword fight, their High Adventure number being a real show stopper. 

      The experienced Jo Servi played the country of Agrabah’s ruling Sultan who seemed determined to get his daughter Jasmine married off at any cost while I must mention the ten members of the orchestra under conductor Dave Rose

who never missed a beat.

      Aladdin’s musical score also hinted at other Disney films including snatches from Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid, all of which had also been penned by Alan Menken.

     If you loved the Disney film, then you’ll love this stage version and the wonderful

A Whole New World duet as Aladdin and Jasmine take a ride on their magic carpet.

      Added to that is the magnificent         Cave  of Wonders set which really has a wow factor while Menken’s musical score is performed to perfection by a truly wonderful and talented theatrical cast.

      Disney’s Aladdin plays Milton Keynes Theatre until Sunday 19 May with tickets from £20 by calling 0844 871 7615 or online at ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes

Above: Desdemona Cathabel plays  beautiful  Princess Jasmine while Gavin Adams is the perfect Aladdin.