Like every other kid I know, I loved Disney growing-up. One of my all time favourites was ‘Aladdin’. (It’s joint top 3 with ‘Frozen’ falling just short of ‘Mulan’ and ‘The Lion King’ which are joint 1st – in case you’re interested!) My sister and I were both quiet excited when we heard ‘Aladdin’ was being adapted for the stage; If it was anything like the stage adaptation of ‘The Lion King’, which Sam took me to for my birthday about 5 years ago, then it would be pretty darn good. So you can imagine my excitement when my sister got tickets to take me for my birthday…including LUNCH!
I started the day with some time with Sam and mini H; We had a play and walked to the park to go on the swings. It was nice to still have a bit of time with them before venturing off on my own. I then got the train in to London just before 11:30am. Jenny and I weren’t meeting until 12:30pm so I took the opportunity of some free time in central London to pop to John Lewis on Oxford Street and visit the 2016 roof garden; Every year for the past few years they have opened a themed roof garden where customers can go and get a drink and sit and enjoy the London views from up high. This year the theme is ‘The Gardening Society’ which is what drew me in. I arrived just after 12:15pm when it had only been open for 15 minutes so it was still quiet. It was a beautiful set-up with some stunning flowers, plants, vegetables and herbs. Some of my favourite features were the succulents potted in a mix of bizarre objects, a ‘window box’ of herbs and the vegetable garden.
Once I’d met my sister, we headed for lunch at a veggie restaurant called Mildred’s on Lexington Street in Soho. It had a really interesting and mixed choice of food and I didn’t know what to have. But in the end I went with the black bean and tomatillo rice buritto which was delicious. I also got a side of chargrilled cauliflower with tahini and lemon, pinenuts and pomegranate seeds. My sister had the halloumi with chargrilled aubergine, harissa and tahini in flatbread (which looked really nice and also filling) with a side of sweet potato fries with chipotle ketchup or basil mayo which I got to sample and were yum! We both finished the meal off with a white chocolate mascarpone cheesecake with raspberries which was wonderful given it was dairy-free! Veggie restaurants aren’t that common but it was nice to go somewhere that had a menu I could enjoy in it’s entirety!
From there we headed on to the show – we had tickets for the matinee so I could still get home for H’s bedtime – which is showing at Prince Edward’s Theatre just off Charing Cross Road. Outside was a ‘replica’ of Genie’s lamp so I snuck-up after a group of kids to get a photo with it! Inside the theatre was really plush; Some of the West-End theatres are quite cramped and I was expecting to have my knees squashed under my chin for a few hours. But I think this theatre must have been recently refurbished because the seats were really comfortable and there was plenty of legroom even for my 6 foot tall frame! We had great seats too sat towards the back of the stalls; It meant I didn’t have to scale any scary stairs to get to seats in the balcony or circle!
The show was wonderful! It had all of the songs from the film and was supplemented with some additional numbers. Most of the characters from the film were there as expected; The only absences were the animal creatures – I suppose because of the challenges in bringing them to life on stage – and they were either replaced by a human character of the same name or with human friends. That was probably my only disappointment but I don’t think it spoiled the show for me. The Genie character and actor stole the show by a mile though; It was always going to be difficult to bring a cartoon character voiced by the wonderful Robin Williams to life, but they have certainly managed it! With the stunning sets and costumes supporting a very strong cast I would challenge anyone to watch the show and not enjoy it. The lively songs, bright colours and sparkly sequins make for a proper stage show!
Taken from the ‘Aladdin The Musical‘ website where you can also purchase tickets