On the 29th August we went to see Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End. This was an autism friendly performance which was organised by the National Autistic Society. Just before the show started two actors who play the Genie and Jafar came onto introduce the show. They were really welcoming and explained the adjustments they made today for people with autism, like the lighting. We were also told that we can make as much noise as we like, they were even encouraging us to make noise! They informed us that there were lots of staff to help us. We would really take this opportunity to thank the staff from Disney, Prince Edward Theatre and the National Autistic Society. They took time to have conversations with us and getting to know us.
We both highly recommend Disney’s musical ‘Aladdin’. It was superb, lots of fun and was full of energy from the start until they sang the last note. The sets were amazing and so colourful. It really is a feel good show that leaves singing the songs a few hours later.
About 30 minutes into the show the fire alarms started to go off. Someone came on the stage immediately and said that we all had to evacuate the theatre. The staff supported everyone out of the theatre in a calm, polite but direct manner. Within 5 minutes everyone was evacuated and everyone was safe. About 10 minutes later someone told us that it was a false alarm and we can go back into the show. Considering that the majority of the audience either had autism and/or learning disabilities the staff should be proud of themselves for keeping us all calm.
It’s a very different from the animated film version but this show brought Aladdin back with a big bang. The Genie was both of our favourite character by a mile. Genie was played by actor Trevor Dion Nicholas, this was his West End debut but you would think he has been doing this for years. Genie is a genius! This is a love story between Aladdin and Jasmine. Both of the actors can truly sing and when they sang ‘A whole new world’ we are sure some people started crying around us.
This is an absolutely brilliant show that we recommend you go and see. It doesn’t disappoint! So thank you for a great afternoon Aladdin and to everyone at National Autistic Society.
Steve Hardy and James Dyer
Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust