|Date||16th January 2020|
|Society||Dynamic Youth Theatre|
|Venue||Hanger Farm Arts Centre|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Rachael Thorpe|
|Choreographers||Anita Pritchard and Emalene Hickman|
Author: Mike Mullen
Disney’s Aladdin Jr has everything you would expect to see and has obviously been updated to feature some of the best elements from the recent West End production. From the opening number ‘Arabian Nights’ through to the Finale, the evening was full of excellent performances throughout.
There were strong performances throughout and it is difficult to pick out individual performances. However, Abbie Miller as the Genie led the cast with great skill and confidence. Her stage presence, vocals and characterisation set the tone for a fabulous evening. Abbie is definitely one to look out for in the future. Joe Mawby as Aladdin has matured excellently since I last saw him and his vocals particularly in ‘Proud of Your Boy’ were delivered perfectly. This role suited him to a tee and I look forward to watching him continue to develop. Rebecca Reed gave an excellent performance in the role of Princess Jasmine. Special mention also must go to Ffionn Lloyd in the role of Iago (Jafar’s sidekick). His witty dialogue and comic portrayal had the audience in the palm of his hand every time he appeared onstage. The lead cast were supported by over 30 young people all of whom delivered great performances in their own respective roles and were clearly having lots of fun.
Possibly the highlight of the evening, was the performance of ‘High Adventure’ in Act Two. Hope Hamilton, Sophie Libscomb, Hannah Farnell and Riley Christie in the roles of Babkak, Omar, Kassam and Amon had the audience in fits of laughter.
Director Wendy South should be commended for the way in which she utilised the space available and ensuring every member of the cast had their ‘moment’. Choreography by Anita Pritchard and Emalene Hickman was just the right level of challenge for this young cast and added to the overall performance.
The production moved along at a rate of knots and the changeovers were well managed and enabled the action to move freely from scene to scene. Lighting by Steve Gedge was well designed and the occasional effects were utilised well. Often only ever mentioned negatively in reviews, the Sound, led by Steve Everett, was just right. Dialogue and solo vocals could be heard clearly above the backing tracks and this allowed the audience to keep up with this abridged version.
Overall this was a very enjoyable evening and the entire cast and crew should feel proud of the final product. I look forward to seeing you all again back at The Rose Theatre for Annie.