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West End Makes Way for Aladdin the Musical

Monday, 23rd Nov 2015

West End Makes Way for Aladdin the Musical - Cast Announced for UK premiere at the Prince Edward Theatre

The people of Agrabah are getting ready to take the West End by storm in the upcoming musical production of Aladdin on stage. After huge success on Broadway, the enchanting tale will finally make its way onto British soil and after 20 years since it first entered our lives on film, we can’t wait to see it in the flesh come Summer 2016!

It has been announced that Dean John-Wilson and Jade Ewen will star in the leading roles of Aladdin and Jasmine in the highly anticipated Disney musical. Tickets are now on sale for the London run at the Prince Edward Theatre, with performances starting in June 2016 until October 2016.

The two talented performers will be joined on stage by Don Gallagher as Jafar, Peter Howe as Iago, Irvine Iqbal as the Sultan, Nathan Amzi as Babkak, Stephen Rahman-Hughes as Kassim and Rachid Sabitri as Omar. Trevor Dion Nicholas who plays Genie on Broadway will also be reprising his role on the London stage.

Whilst many audience members will recognise Dean John-Wilson for his appearance on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2008, he is no stranger to the stage and has previously appeared in Here Lies Love at the National Theatre, From Here to Eternity at the Shaftsbury Theatre, Bare at the Union Theatre as well as Songs For a New World at St James Theatre.

Jade Ewen made both her London and professional stage debut in Disney’s The Lion King as Young Nala at the Lyceum Theatre and is currently appearing in In The Heights at the King’s Cross Theatre. In addition to her work on stage Jade was a member of the Sugababes back in 2009. During that same year she represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest, performing Andre Lloyd Webber’s It’s My Time and achieving fifth place in the global competition.

Now in its second record-breaking year on Broadway, Aladdin has been seen by more than one million theatregoers. The musical will join the list of other previous Disney stage productions to open in London including Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins and the extremely successful The Lion King, which is now in its 17th year in the West End.

So come on down, stop on by, hop a carpet, tube, bus or fly, just don’t miss this epic Disney musical adventure when it makes its big onstage UK debut! To get you in the mood for an Arabian night you’ll never forget, here are some interesting facts about the movie, the music and the people who have helped bring it to life!

Things you probably didn’t know about Aladdin


• Aladdin was the highest-grossing movie of 1992 and was also the first animated movie to gross more than $200 million.

• Before Robin Williams became the voice of the Genie, actors including Steve Martin, John Goodman, Eddie Murphy and Martin Short were all considered for the role.

• Jafar was based on Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent and even carries a staff, has an evil bird sidekick and transforms into a giant animal at the end of the film just like villainess.

• Aladdin originally had a mother to whom he sang a song called “Proud of Your Boy”, but it was decided to cut both from the story. (But look out for the song when the musical is performed live onstage!)

• When preview screenings of the film first began no one applauded after the songs so the animators added an “Applause” sign over Genie at the end of “Friend Like Me”…and it worked!

• The film features cutting-edge computer animation which helped bring the famous magical flying carpet to life using a combination hand-drawings and computer animation.


American musical theatre and film composer Alan Menken won two Oscars for his work on Aladdin. These were for his impressive original score and his unforgettable music on ‘A Whole New World.’

Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle’s version of ‘A Whole New World’ is the only song from a Disney animated feature to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The Broadway cast recently paid tribute to the late Robin Williams who was the first big celebrity to be cast as a voice in an animated movie – he also improvised much of the dialogue! Watch the touching tribute performance

The Broadway production includes many of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s songs that didn’t make the original animated movie, including ‘Proud of Your Boy.’

Unfortunately the stage production waves goodbye to many of our film favourites including Abu the monkey, Raja the tiger and loudmouth sidekick Iago the parrot, who instead appears in human form together with a host of other exciting new characters.

The Aladdin cast recently had a very public sing-off with the cast of The Lion King at LaGuardia Airport New York during a six hour flight delay. They quickly drew a massive crowd in the terminal and entertained the other waiting passengers with a powerful impromptu performance. Watch it below.

Our Dream Cast

Although the original character was modelled on a very young Tom Cruise we would love to see Dev Patel in the leading role. We think his charming, down-to-earth nature is perfect for playing the starring role of cheeky chap Aladdin.


Jasmine was partly modelled after Jennifer Connelly and the sister of Mark Henn who created the Arabian princess’s animated character. We’d love to see Game of Thrones beauty Emilia Clarke take on the role of the headstrong leading lady.


As one of the story’s most popular characters the role of Genie does leave big shoes to fill, however we think funny man Matt Lucas was born to play the role and even looks the part too! 
No stranger to film or stage and now a hot commodity in the US James Cordon would make a great addition to the cast in the role of the sweet and charming Sultan and dad to Princess Jasmine.


Patrick Stewart was originally forced to turn down the role as the voice of Jafar in the Disney feature film due to scheduling conflicts whilst filming Star Trek: The Next Generation, so it seems only fitting that he would get to play the notorious villain this time round.


Warwick Davis as our feathered friend and Jafar’s loyal scheming sidekick in human form would certainly make for some magical on stage moments!

Article filed under: Theatre News |