The high standard of performance from the young people in this society never ceases to amaze me and this lovely production was no exception.
Under the tuition of their creative team and the dedicated help of their team leaders, members of SYD 7’s could not be better placed for learning stagecraft and, just as importantly, having a great time.
Disney’s Aladdin has gone from screen to West End Stage and this one act version enables younger performers to experience the wonders of this all time favourite tale of Arabian Nights, brought bang up to date. Traditionally costumed but with more than a nod to the present day and featuring Alan Menken’s beautiful score, this was an excellent choice of show for this young cast.
Zac Jepps made a fine Aladdin. A nice clear speaking voice and good singing. The same must be said of Jasmine, delightfully played by Niambh Martin. Gregor James as the Sultan was very quietly spoken and I did struggle to hear him at times. Nevertheless he played his part well and with experience he should gain the confidence to be a little more expressive.
Ben Silk gave a good confident performance as Jafa, his projection and diction enabling us to hear every word. Abbie Bacon did an excellent job as Iago, bringing out the humour required of the role. A good performance also from Gabriel Strydom-Green as Razou,
Arnaud Le Novere was brilliant as Genie. A very confident performance, bringing out the comedy required of the role to the delight of the audience. A young man to be watched.
All the named characters were well cast and, for the most part, gave good performances. They were very well supported by the large ensemble. Obviously at this age standards of performance are going to vary but SYD gives everyone the opportunity to have a go and do their best and this of course brings talent to the fore.
It was such a shame the sound desk decided to give up early in the first half but it was to their credit that the young cast, having left the stage while a replacement desk was connected, returned and picked up from where they left off, to a well deserved round of applause. Well done to the Society for having back up equipment at the ready to save the day. This blip aside, sound was good and there was some excellent atmospheric lighting.
The film sequence featuring Aladdin and Jasmine on the magic carpet was a lovely interlude.
The scenery was very effective and scene changes well executed without undue delays. The cave was very well done and looked fantastic.
Congratulations to the Wardrobe and Make-up departments. The costumes were fantastic and the make up, especially on the principals, was terrific. I loved the wonderfully expressive eyebrows!
This was a lovely show and my colleague and I had a very enjoyable evening.
Thank you for inviting me.