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To me, there are two versions of London. There is the London I work in. This is the London that centres around my office in Seven Dials, where I go for breakfast meetings at the Shard and pick up the Metro at Covent Garden station on my way home. Then theres the London I PLAY in. The London where I go to last minute art exhibitions, Bounce for some ping pong and a drink or Regents Park during the summer for some tanning. In my head having time to enjoy the city is a completely different thing to rushing down Charing Cross road to the office because you missed your tube by 30 seconds.
So when my Mum told me my 30th birthday surprise was in fact, a weekend in London, I was super excited even though it was in and around my work area. I’ve wanted to see Aladdin for ages, but until MAC or Urban Decay lower their prices I was never going to be affording that one. As someone who hates the tube she managed to plan everything avoiding it with military precision. We were staying at the St Giles Hotel, having dinner at their restaurant then seeing Aladdin at the theatre (something I have wanted to do for ages). So that was that.
I was seeing Aladdin at the theatre!
The Prince Edward theatre is really easy to find. That isn’t even just because I work there and know the area, it’s a short walk from Tottenham Court road station. I’ve been to the theatre quite a lot, but being that it was Aladdin I didn’t really know what to expect. When we got there and had read of the programme both of the best songs (Prince Ali and A Whole New World) were in the second act – so I assumed the first one would go slowly.
From the offset the genie was hilarious. He really is one of the best characters. He kept the jokes fresh and up to date and his banter with Aladdin was brilliant. Obviously it followed the story of Aladdin really closely so the first act was all about him being a thief and then meeting Jasmine. It ended with the part where he goes into the cave to find the lamp. The set for this scene was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it at the theatre. It looked like solid gold which is the effect they were going for but I wasn’t expecting it to be so good.
The second act opened with Prince Ali so if you are going to go and see it expect to have that one in your head for about three weeks after. When my Mum told me what we were doing I was seriously intrigued at how they would make the magic carpet scene work. I remember when I found out magic carpets were not actually real. I was shocked and horrified. The magic carpet at Aladdin in London actually flew. It seriously did. I was in awe. As Aladdin and Jasmine flew around the stage singing A Whole New World all I was doing was trying to figure out how they did it. After an extensive Google search I have come to the realisation that they don’t WANT you to know how they did it. In fact, the staff actually have to sign NDA’s to say they won’t tell anyone. It is ACTUAL magic.
I’ve always found the end of Aladdin a bit drawn out. I don’t know why as the film itself is quite short, but I can never remember what actually happens which means it is too long as I haven’t got a terribly long attention span. Luckily the theatre production doesn’t drag on, and the ending wraps up pretty quickly and neatly.
Depending on how many people are going, tickets can get pricey, but I can honestly say it is worth every penny. Aladdin is the most truly amazing West End show I have ever seen and I can’t wait to go again!