Disney Theatrical Productions announced today that Dean John-Wilson will play the role of Aladdin alongside Jade Ewen as Jasmine in the West End premiere of the new musical based on the classic Academy Award®-winning animated film. Aladdin will now open at the Prince Edward Theatre on Wednesday 15 June 2016, with previews from Friday 27 May. Tickets are on general sale for performances up to and including 1 October 2016. For further details please visit www.aladdinthemusical.co.uk.
Dean and Jade will be joined 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. As previously announced, Broadway cast member Trevor Dion Nicholas will make his London stage debut as Genie.
“As we cast this exceptional company, I was impressed again – as I have been many times in the last two decades – by the vast, deep pool of musical theatre talent in London and throughout Britain,” said Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer, Disney Theatrical Productions. “And how gratifying that talent is a microcosm of the country in all its diversity and distinction. I’m so proud this beautiful cast reflects that.”
Dean John-Wilson (Aladdin) has previously appeared in Fatboy Slim and David Byrne’s critically acclaimed musical Here Lies Love (National Theatre), Songs For a New World (St James Theatre), Tim Rice’s original musical From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), Bare (Union Theatre) and the UK tour of Sister Act. Dean first became known to television audiences for appearing in the semi-finals of the 2008 series of Britain’s Got Talent (ITV).
Trevor Dion Nicholas (Genie) joins the UK cast of Aladdin from the Broadway production and will be making his West End debut. Trevor has previously appeared on stage in Big River (North American tour) and The Wiz (Maltz Jupiter Theatre) and on screen in The Americans. In addition to his work on stage and screen, Trevor is an accomplished musician and is the primary singer and songwriter for the alternative indie soul band Neighborhood Goliath.
Jade Ewen (Jasmine) made her professional stage debut in Disney’s The Lion King as Young Nala at the Lyeum Theatre in London and has since gone on to star in In The Heights (King’s Cross Theatre), Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Whistle Down The Wind (Aldywch Theatre) and Tonight’s The Night (UK Tour). In addition to Jade’s work on stage, she was a member of the Sugababes since 2009 with seven albums reaching the UK’s Top Ten Album Chart. She also represented the UK in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, performing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s It’s My Time, achieving fifth place and making her the UK’s most successful act in the last 12 years.
Don Gallagher (Jafar) is an illustrious theatre actor whose previous stage credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre), The Producers (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Sweeney Todd (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Henry IV Part 1 & 2, Painter of Dishonour, Richard III, The Winter’s Tale (all Royal Shakespeare Company) and Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre). Don has previously appeared on screen in the film adapation of Rufus Norris’ London Road and in various television dramas including Doctors, Casualty, Miss Marple and Agatha Raisin.
Peter Howe (Iago) has previously originated the roles of Michael Wormwood in the Olivier Award winning Matilda The Musical (Cambridge Theatre) and Sam Gamgee in the world premiere of The Lord Of The Rings (Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto and Theatre Royal Drury Lane). Peter’s further theatre credits include The Captain Of Kopenick (National Theatre), Holes (New Wimbledon Theatre) and Hansel And Gretel (Theatre Royal Stratford East).
Irvine Iqbal (Sultan) has most recently appeared in the West End in Bend It Like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre). Other stage roles have included Bombay Dreams (Apollo Victoria Theatre), Wuthering Heights (Lyric Hammersmith), The Mahabharata (The Old Vic) and The Far Pavilions (Shaftesbury Theatre). Screen credits include Eastenders, Casualty, Doctors, and the films The Cook, The Pinocchio Effect and Infinite Justice.
Nathan Amzi’s (Babkak) previous musical theatre credits include In The Heights (Kings Cross Theatre and Southwark Playhouse), Urinetown (Apollo Theatre), Rock of Ages (Shaftesbury Theatre and Garrick Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show (Playhouse Theatre, Comedy Theatre and UK Tour) and Miss Saigon (UK Tour). Nathan has also appeared in Dinner With Saddam (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe, Broadstage Los Angeles and Pace New York) and Alan Ayckbourn’s A Small Family Business (Palace Theatre).
Stephen Rahman-Hughes (Kassim) is best known to television audiences for playing DCI Vikesh Dasari in ITV’s Emmerdale, as well as other roles in Dream Team, Bad Girls and Doctors. On stage, he has starred in Rock of Ages (UK Tour), Bombay Dreams (Apollo Victoria Theatre) and Puteri Gunung Ledang (Istana Budaya, Malaysia and Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Singapore).
Rachid Sabitri’s (Omar) previous theatre credits include I Call My Brothers (Arcola Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Piccadilly Theatre), Rafta Rafta (National Theatre tour) Twelfth Night (Northampton Royal and Derngate), Beyond Midnight (Edinburgh Festival), Beautiful Thing and Bloodtide (York Theatre Royal) and Tangier Tattoo (Glyndebourne Opera House). In addition to his work on stage, Rachid has also appeared on screen in Homeland, Criminal Minds, Madam Secretary, Doctor Who and Casualty.
The full cast includes: Arran Anzani-Jones, Miles Barrow, Albey Brookes, Lauren Chia, Bianca Cordice, Leon Craig, Daniel de Bourg, Seng Henk Goh, Melanie Elizabeth, Kade Ferraiolo, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell, Fred Johanson, Mitch Leow, Oliver Lidert, Thierry Picaut, Alex Pinder, Briony Scarlett, Kyle Seeley, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Ricardo Spriggs, Katie Singh, Dawnita Smith, Marsha Songcome, Kayleigh Thadani and Jermaine Woods.
From Disney Theatrical Productions, the producer of The Lion King, Aladdin features the much-loved songs from the 1992 animated film as well as new music written by Tony, Olivier and eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Little Shop Of Horrors). With lyrics from Olivier Award and two-time Oscar® winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony and Olivier Award, three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida), and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), and a book by Beguelin, Aladdin is directed and choreographed by Tony and Olivier Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).
Now in its second record-breaking year on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre, where it has been seen by more than one million people, Aladdin opened at Tokyo’s Dentsu Shiki Theatre Umi in May 2015, will have its European premiere in December 2015 at the Stage Theatre Neue Flora, Hamburg, and open in Sydney, Australia in 2016.
Previous Disney stage productions in London have included Shakespeare in Love and the Olivier-winning productions of Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins and The Lion King, which is now playing its 17th triumphant year in the West End.
Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, five-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis. Casting is by Jill Green CDG.
The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.
Photo: Dean Van Meer