Theatre Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet’s ALADDIN – The Lowry, Salford

Tzu-Chao Chou as the Djinn of the Lamp in ALADDIN. Photo Credit: Bill Cooper

Tzu-Chao Chou as the Djinn of the Lamp in ALADDIN. Photo Credit: Bill Cooper

West End theatre meets classical ballet in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s latest production of ALADDIN

West End theatre meets classical ballet in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s latest production of ALADDIN, which flies into Salford this week for a four-night run at The Lowry.

Based on the Arab-style folktale of the same name, ALADDIN tells the story of a street urchin who frees a genie from a magical lamp and finds his wishes granted. After falling in love with a beautiful princess, he uses a genie’s magic power to make himself into a prince in order to marry her. But it isn’t long before an evil Mahgrib sets out to steal the lamp, along with Aladdin’s bride in the process.

Bold, bright and beautiful, Birmingham Royal Ballet is on fresh and buoyant form with ALADDIN. From Sue Blane’s beautiful costumes to Carl Davis’ vibrant and soaring musical score, every inch of this exciting and exuberant three-act ballet is a feast for the eyes and ears.

Mathias Dingman is on fine form as Aladdin, delivering the perfect mix of mischievousness and skill, while Momoko Hirata is equally impressive as the shy and beautiful Princess Badr al-Budur. Tzu-Chao Chou brings energy and fun to the role of Djinn of the Lamp, hovering magically in a puff of blue smoke and Iain Mackay is effective as the Mahgrib, his wickedness extending all the way to his glow-in-the-dark fingernails.

Nao Sakuma as Princess Badr al-Budur in ALADDIN. Photo Credit: Bill Cooper

Nao Sakuma as Princess Badr al-Budur in ALADDIN. Photo Credit: Bill Cooper

But the real star of the show is Dick Bird’s lavish set design which brings the glittering production to life. From the cave of dancing jewels with its bone staircase to the bustling market scene, every backdrop in this family-friendly ballet brims with pure theatrical magic.

While, unlike Brintley’s other work, ALADDIN boasts very little in terms of characterisation or big acting performances, the choreography is as memorising as ever, with the group pieces in the court scene, the sharp, neat dances of the cave jewels and the larger-than-life Lion Dance, particularly standing out.

Thanks to its simple storytelling, fast pace and colourful costumes, this is also a production that the whole family can enjoy, with the big finale in which Aladdin and his princess fly serenely to safety on a magic carpet, impressing even the adults in the audience.

(4 / 5)

ALADDIN runs at The Lowry until 23 September 2017.

About Donna

Donna is the Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she is a digital marketing whizz, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage, The Public Reviews and ScreenRelish. Loves Shakespeare, prosecco and Formula 1