"Aladdin Jr" by KTYCo
Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton.
Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton.
"Who would pay to see people singing and dancing?" is one of the lines in this show, and I can answer that; anyone who loves great entertainment like this show.
The Kristian Thomas Youth Company present an evening of magical and mystical entertainment for all the family. I've seen several of this theatre company's shows and have not seen a duff one yet, but this is the first of their youth group's presentations and it is every bit as professional as the adult productions. I expected that because I know what perfectionists this team are.
The story is one that we all know about Aladdin's stroke of luck with the magic lamp and finding his Princess Jasmine and this incredible and young cast just bring the story to life before your very eyes, they had me smiling within the first five minutes of the curtains opening and I didn't stop until well after I gave them a standing ovation at their curtain call.
Aiden Carson (Aladdin) was a perfect piece of casting with great energy, oozing with likeability and he has a really good musical theatre voice, which in a few years time will be a massive asset to any theatre company.
Nadia Potter (Jasmine) also has a great voice and in either solo or duets with Aiden, she shines vocally. Loved the feistiness of the character and a lovely melting of Jasmine as she meets Aladdin.
Bailey West (Jafar) is an actor I've had the pleasure of seeing before so i knew what Bailey was capable of. Or so I thought! As the evil Jafar, he showed another layer of his acting skills and I could see him doing really well in pantos in the future as a baddie because he's really mastered the evilness. I also loved the way that he had just the right amount of echo on his voice to signify that he was trouble. Great character role.
Talking of brilliance and greatness, I was completely bowled over by the talented Olivia Weaver who played the Genie. She can dance, sing and has a wonderful sense of comic timing, and those high kicks at the start WOW! A triple threat.
Also loved Bridie Mae O’Donnell (Iago). Another young actor with natural "funny bones" and this role played to her obvious strengths. Plus she stepped in at the last moment as Harrison who should have been playing the part was unwell. Hope you get better soon, Harrison.
Aladdin's faithful trio of friends were played by Daya Khosse (Babkak), Paige Sisson (Omar) and Daniel Lane (Kassim). great fun to watch all three of these in action.
Likewise are Jasmine's trio of Luiseach McAleese (Isir), Orlagh McAleese (Manal) and Emily Bridge (Rajah)
Ollie Davidson (The Sultan) is also one to watch.
Several excellent cameo parts which I loved were from Hana Bendiba (Spooky Voice), Chloe Elsom (Alfreya) and a wonderfully miffed Prince Abdullah played by Abe Collishaw.
The ensemble was massive and when they sang all together, the sound they made was incredible. You could tell that they all put such a lot into all of the roles and it all paid off because this was such a sleek show stuffed with talent.
Loved the choreography (Helen Perry), and there was a lot in there, and if you go and see this show - if you can get tickets - watch for the placement and turning out of the hands, they are superb for such young dancers. Loved the tap routine as well.
Directed by Katy MacLaughlin, she kept this show so tight. practically no empty stages and on the odd occasion, the music covered.
Co-produced by Shannon O'Donnell and Kristian Cunningham, so another guarantee of slickness and professionalism.
A brilliant set design with a rotating piece of set which really impressed me. I kept looking to see if I could see anyone spinning it around but I couldn't see anyone. It was bright, it was colourful and it was practical as well. A massive pat on the back for Tom Bond and Graham Scattergood.
Loved the colourful Lighting Design (Matthew Cook) making it even more fun to watch. There were a few minor hiccups with the mics but nothing really to spoil the show, and Hannah Griffiths did a sterling job of the sound.
The costumes (Tracey Scattergood) were fantastic, adding even more colour to the show,
Tom Bond was the Musical Director and while there were a couple of places where the music drowned the singing, I loved that it was loud, but not too loud, with a beautiful clarity to the tracks.
Most of the songs you will know, "A Whole New World", "Friend Like Me", "Arabian Nights" and the gorgeous "Proud Of Your Boy", but the whole soundtrack will have you tapping your feet throughout.
This show is practically perfect and so professionally produced that you almost forget you're watching a local theatre production. I for one know that local theatre shows are often just as well presented as any touring professional piece of theatre. Go on prove me wrong if you can and pop to the Duchess Theatre and see this smasher.
"Aladdin Jr" is at the Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton until Saturday 2 February 2019