REVIEW: Aladdin, Dukes, Lancaster

Marcquelle Ward (Aladdin) and Dora Rubinstein (Princess). Picture by Darren Andrews.
Marcquelle Ward (Aladdin) and Dora Rubinstein (Princess). Picture by Darren Andrews.

Wishes came true for audiences who settled into a magical performance of Aladdin on Friday night.

The classical tale was not strictly following its original Arabian story as it played at The Dukes in Lancaster.

Delme Thomas as the Genie.

Delme Thomas as the Genie.

Stylish costumes, street dancing and even a rap gave a modern makeover to the play, which was written by Mike Kenny and directed by Sarah Punshon.

Festive lighting led the way as audiences made their entrance into the warmth of The Round.

The song, ‘Roll Up, Roll Up’, introduced the first scene at a street market.

Aladdin (played by Marcquelle Ward) showcased his cheeky, infectious personality as he strived to improve his mother’s happiness by attempting to try not to do “nothing”.

His mum (played by Helen Longworth) was desperate for her son to get a job – a desperation that may have struck a familiar chord with families sitting in the audience.

His quest for a better life leads him to the beautiful Princess (played by Dora Rubinstein).

Her elegant costume and strong vocals was enough to invite the crowd in. She was intrigued by Aladdin but not yet enough to let her rich guard down.

In comes the baddie with his own song – ‘The Baddie Song.’

“He’s bad, he’s bad, he’s really, really bad, he’s a really, really, really, bad baddie,” did get stuck in my head for the rest of the evening.

Arif Javid plays Aladdin’s evil ‘Uncle’ and the Sultan (father to the Princess).

There is an air of Michael McIntyre comic inspiration to his mannerists as he makes the children boo delightfully and enjoy the song about himself.

It wasn’t until the magical lamp was introduced after some trickery by the ‘Uncle’ that I began to truly find a favourite character.

Welcome to the Genie (played by Delme Thomas).

Immediately the play kicks up a notch as the colourful, flamboyant, master of magic makes his entrance – with light trickery and perfect comic timing.

His pink striped hair, multicoloured jumpsuit and Welsh accent is enough to grab the audiences attention.

But the Genie’s delight to be released from the lamp is soon dwindled when Aladdin disappointedly asks for two satsumas and his mother for wishes.

The magic carpet scenes were done in a clever, yet slightly amusing method.

But the wood puppets showcasing the characters were charming and the kids enjoyed the magic.

In a quest to win the heart of the Princess, Aladdin finds himself in trouble but will the Genie save him?

Full of dancing, unique lyrics by Ivan Stott, and a magical performance from all the cast, make sure you check out the festive play Aladdin.

It runs at The Dukes until Saturday January 6.

To book tickets call 01524 598500.