Cast changes announced for Disney's Aladdin in the West End
Matthew Croke is the West End's new Aladdin
Jade Ewen (Jasmine) and Matthew Croke (Aladdin) Photographer Matt Crockett
Tuesday, 28 March, 2017
Disney Theatrical Productions have announced that Matthew Croke will take over the role of Aladdin in the West End production alongside Jade Ewen and Trevor Dion Nicholas who continue in the roles of Jasmine and The Genie.
It was also announced that Nick Cavaliere will join the company to play the role of Iago, whilst current cast members Miles Barrow, Leon Craig and Daniel de Bourg will step into the roles of Omar, Babkak and Kassim respectively. Don Gallagher and Irvine Iqbal will continue in their respective roles of Jafar and the Sultan.
Further new cast includes Chanelle Anthony, Danny Becker, Cindy Belliot, Filippo Coffano, Nolan Edwards, Sinead Kenny, Travis Kerry, Dann Kharsa, Tarisha Rommick, Joshua Steel, Monica Swayne and Niko Wirachman, joining Arran Anzani-Jones, Albey Brookes, Lauren Chia, Bianca Cordice, Cavin Cornwall, Melanie Elizabeth, Kade Ferraiolo, Antony Hewitt, Mitch Leow, Oliver Lidert, Ian Oswald, Kyle Seeley, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Ricardo Spriggs, Kayleigh Thadani and Jermaine Woods.
Disney's Aladdin opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in the West End on 15 June 2016 following previews from 27 May and is currently booking to 30 September 2017. The show is entering its fourth year on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre and has now played on four continents having been seen by over 4 million people worldwide.
The musical features songs from the animated film by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin with a book by Beguelin. It is directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw and designed by Bob Crowley with lighting by Natasha Katz, costumes by Gregg Barnes and sound design by Ken Travis.
Matthew Croke makes his West End debut in a lead role as Aladdin. Previous theatre credits include Annie Get Your Gun (Crucible Theatre), Singin’ in the Rain (UK Tour), Funny Girl (Menier Chocolate Factory), Shall We Dance (Sadler’s Wells), A Chorus Line (Crucible Theatre) and West Side Story (UK & Ireland tour). He has also performed and understudied the roles of Amos Hart & Mary Sunshine in Chicago (Cambridge Theatre), Eugene in Grease (Piccadilly Theatre), Don in Singin’ in the Rain (Palace Theatre) and Fiyero in Wicked (Apollo Victoria).
Aladdin tickets are on sale to 30 September 2017.
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Happy Birthday Jade
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
|Mon 23 May 2016|
Trevor Dion Nicholas
Jade Ewen & Dean John-Wilson
DOH: Dom O'Hanlon
DJW: Dean John Wilson
JE: Jade Ewen
TDN: Trevor Dion Nicholas
DOH: What did the original Disney film Aladdin mean to you before you got these roles?JE: Just happy memories! I had a Disney movie every year for Christmas, my mum would get one for me and my sister, and Aladdin was the favourite. I think we've all kind of felt similarly that it was the first time we had seen a Disney Prince or Princess that looked similar to us. It really sticks out as one of those moments where you just think “I could be a Disney Princess!” Just generally very happy.
TD: I used to love collecting the big block VHS tapes and I had the Aladdin one, and for me as a little boy – we all loved The Little Mermaid of course, we all did – but Aladdin for a little boy was this cool action adventure story, and so I was really able to attach to it and think it's so cool and so much fun. I thought the Genie was hilarious, I thought Jafar was awesome. I had the cassette of the music as well – when you folded it out, back in the day, you had the lyrics all in there and that's how I knew the songs. I remember I used to go into my parents room and I'd use the cassette player and spend all day learning and singing through the entire movie soundtrack – it was awesome.
DJW: Aladdin was kinda the first character that looked like me, always being mischievous and that was me growing up, so I saw myself as being a bit of an Aladdin. It was definitely a favourite of mine.
DOH: How does it then feel to be playing characters with whom so many people have such a strong emotional attachment?
DJW: It's just amazing to be able to bring those animated characters to life and be able to live and breath those characters and find truth in them. They have real heart.
JE: I feel it makes you feel like a big kid again – I find it so exciting. Every day I come in just genuinely excited for rehearsals.
JE: Upstairs they're running costume changes now – when you see it on such a big scale, and it's real, all the crystals, all the details, it's just breathtaking. You forget we're all adults – and we're sitting there screaming!
TD: You get the joy of getting to find pieces of that character that you grew up with in yourself, and yourself in that character at the same time so finding that balance and that existence together is just exhilarating. We're already lucky enough to get to do what we love for work – we get to come in and play and sing and dance and perform to each other and build these relationships with each other. When you add into that the story like Aladdin it's almost overwhelming, the happiness that comes from that, it's just awesome.
Trevor Dion Nicholas as The Genie
DJW: The magic carpet! I just can't wait to get on it with this one.
TD: I can't wait to watch them get on it. I'm going to keep my distance...
JE: We saw it on Broadway, and we've been told that since the technology has been updated and improved – but we can't give anything away! But it's more impressive now than it was even when we saw it back in January. So I'm just really excited to see how that's going to work. It's an interesting thing because we can't practise trying to sing and actually be on the carpet -
DJW: Till we actually do it!
JE: So at the moment we're sort of sitting on boxes cross legged, then imagining that the carpet is spinning around and we've got to stand up and walk around the box, so it's going to be a whole different experience when we actually get there – but it's going to be really exciting.
TD: The carpet does this thing that's really unique where it takes this honest, sweet moment “A Whole New World” which everyone connects with and everybody knows, and the carpet makes it that extra bit of magic that you don't expect to see on stage. It gives it that magic that you won't be able to see anywhere else and that's incredible.
DOH: What has it been like working with director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw?
JE: It's been so much fun working with Casey. I remember from our auditions he just paces up and down in his socks...
DJW: He doesn't wear any shoes!
JE: We've been with him all week working on the scenes, and I said to him yesterday as we were walking down the stairs – Casey, can I ask you a question – why don't you wear any shoes? He said it's just part of his creative process that he doesn't like to feel restricted in any way, he feels comfortable when he hasn't got his shoes on and he's able to really throw himself in, which I thought was really interesting.
DJW: Keeps him grounded he said!
JE: He's really fun
TD: He's a big kid like we are! So that comes into the room and comes into the work – that spark of joy ripples through the rest of the cast. Absolutely – he comes into the room and you know it's going to be time to work, but it's too much fun when you're in the room – it's just a blast.
DJW: It's kind of what you want from a director though.
TD: Seeing him find bits of inspiration from things that are happening and go after those and dig deeper with you, as a director-performer relationship it is, it's a dream.
DJW: You can trust him as well – you can have huge trust in his work.
Aladdin cast in rehearsals (Photo by Johan Persson)
TD: Breathing, breathing, breathing! It's a massive number, every time you think you know what's going to happen it surprises you again. I think it pulls back to the joy. When the number officially starts its around eight minutes straight through. For me, a lot of what gets me through it is the fun that we get to have together during it. We've been finding moments to get our connection and it's working, and we're having a good time, everybody is working really really hard to make sure that number is as fun as it should be.
DJW: The thing that gets me through is Trevor pulling me around. For literally the first six minutes of the number he's just pulling me around, dropping me on boxes, throwing me on chairs – I've got loads of dancing girls dancing around me -
TD: Loads of dancing boys dancing around you -
DJW: Flips, gimmicks and gadgets and whatnot happening...
DOH: But the show also has a lot of heart. Aladdin and Jasmine tap into a older audience, and I know Tom Schumacher was adamant that the show appeals to the generation who grew up with the film. How do you help get that across?
JE: It's absolutely a dream come true. Anyone you speak to, boys and girls, the second you say I'm playing Princess Jasmine they're all like "no way!!" I think the moment I tried on my turquoise costume, it's so iconic I couldn't believe it – I was just staring at myself in the mirror thinking this is insane. If someone had said to me as a child that I'd be playing Princess Jasmine I just wouldn't believe them. When I sing "Palace Walls" it's a really nice moment because it's a song that's not in the Disney film, and it's just before she decides to run away to the marketplace. It's a moment that really shows Jasmine's independence and fighting spirit – she's not really sure what's out there but she's going to do it anyway. I love it. The arrangement of the song builds – there's a real story and a narrative and it just builds and by the end it's a really big sing and it's a real moment, I think it sets up the marketplace really nicely. I just feel so fortunate, just really really happy.
DJW: "Proud of Your Boy" is such a beautiful, honest and touching song. The reason why I think it was cut from the film is maybe because it delves too deep into stuff about parents. It's a great song and a beautiful moment. The first time that everything stands still for a second – there's lots of glitz and glamour going on, but it's the first time that there's just one character on stage and everything just becomes still.
JE: I think also with that the subject matters are slightly more mature. Our characters are based slightly older as well and that's the nice thing. It's Disney, and children will be able to look at the costumes and follow the storylines, but as you said for an older generation who grew up with it too it's something that resonates with every day life and something we can all connect to – we all have our issues and our insecurities and that's really nice about it.
TD: There's a lot built into the show for everyone and anyone to connect with and that's what important for longevity and storytelling wise.
DJW: It makes it universal.
DOH: How has the show developed specifically for a London audience?
TD: We've got some very unique surprises for London audiences. What we really wanted to do is make sure that this wasn't just a transfer of what happened on Broadway – we wanted to make sure that this was Aladdin for here, for London. It's not so much catering to a London audience but more making a performance that is specific that audiences can attach and connect to. We definitely have some surprises that you won't see anywhere else in the world but here!
DJW: They better be ready!
TD: I hope so!
Buy tickets for Aladdin by clicking here.- by Dom O'Hanlon
Sunday, 4 September 2016
PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: 'I love you my husband!' Former Sugababe Heidi Range is a vision as she sports exquisite lace gown to marry Alex Partakis in idyllic Italian ceremony
PUBLISHED: 11:28, 4 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:37, 4 September 2016
Heidi Range has married her partner of two years, Alex Partakis in an idyllic ceremony in Florence on Sunday.
The 33-year-old former Sugababes star looked an image of elegance and sophistication as she serenely glided down the aisle in a white Bardot neckline gown with a full skirt and long train.
Taking to Twitter on her big day, the blonde beauty shared a stunning image with her new husband, with the caption: 'So this just happened... Mr & Mrs Partakis On cloud 9! I love you my Husband @alexpartakis X'.
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Over the moon: Heidi Range has married her partner of two years, Alex Partakis in an idyllic ceremony in Florence on Sunday
The stunning star, who soared to fame when she replaced Siobhán Donaghy in the girl group in 2001, looked simply sensational in her elegant gown as she prepared to exchange vows with her dashing husband.
The sweetheart bust on the gown was layered beneath a delicate lace overlay extending into elegant long sleeves, while the lace detail extended down to her hips.
Her frothy skirt gave the look a fairy tale feel, with the long train extending in a deep length behind her while her lengthy veil tied in beautifully with the ensemble.
The white of her gown perfectly offset her sunkissed complexion, which was too complemented by her blonde tresses pinned into an elegant chignon.
Stunning: The 33-year-old former Sugababes star looked an image of elegance and sophistication as she serenely glided down the aisle in a white Bardot neckline gown with a full skirt and long train
Sealed with a kiss! Heidi and Alex were seen in a romantic clinch as they confirmed their union
Ear-to-ear: Not a moment went by when Heidi did not beam with happiness ahead of her big day
'I love you': Taking to Twitter on her big day, the blonde beauty shared a stunning image with her new husband, with the caption: 'So this just happened... Mr & Mrs Partakis On cloud 9! I love you my Husband @alexpartakis X'
Her make-up was dewy and flawlessly applied to ensure she truly looked every inch the blushing bride. She rounded out the ensemble with a huge cream bouquet.
Alex's outfit screaming simplistic class as he went for a classic black tuxedo, which coordinated flawlessly with Heidi's elegant and classic gown.
Perhaps in a bid for Dutch courage, the Liverpool-born beauty was seen enjoying a glass of rose wine carried to the vehicle by her father.
The guest's outfits were a blend of stunning gowns for the women and both tuxes and kilts - making for an extremely
Cheers! Perhaps in a bid for Dutch courage, the Liverpool-born beauty was seen enjoying a glass of rose wine carried to the vehicle by her father
Elegance and grace: Heidi was a vision as she headed towards her wedding
Having a giggle: Heidi looked gracious as she joined her father in the classic white car
Loved-up: The couple exchanged their vows beneath an exquisite floral arch, under which they adoringly gazed at one another before sealing their union with a kiss
Holding on: After two years as a couple, Heidi and Alex appear to have found their bliss
The couple exchanged their vows beneath an exquisite floral arch, under which they adoringly gazed at one another before sealing their union with a kiss.
Heidi and Alex were set up by her personal trainer in early 2014, and felt and instant connection.
Their first date was a restaurant in London's Notting Hill and they have been inseparable ever since.
The Push the Button hit-maker revealed in an interview with the Scottish Daily Record published not long before the engagement that she was hoping for a proposal, but didn't want to jinx things.
All hands on deck: Heidi was surrounded by her friends and family as she prepared for her big day
Cheers! Heidi enjoyed a glass of wine as she headed to the ceremony in a stunning car
Bardot beauty: Heidi's dress was perfectly cut to suit her shape, with her slender shoulders shown off through the Bardot neckline
What a beauty: Not a moment passed when Heidi was not beaming from ear to ear
Stylish guests: Heidi was not the only stylish addition as her guests also sported stunning gowns
'I try not to think about it – I could be waiting a long time', she joked when asked whether an engagement was on the cards.
Heidi was previously engaged to presenter Dave Berry, who she dated for eight years, but they called time on their romance in December 2011.
The star has turned her back on music since chart-topping girl band the Sugababes went their separate ways, confirming the news in the autumn of 2013 after a long hiatus.
Graceful: As Heidi prepared to head to the altar, she shared a joke with a guest weighed down with two glasses of wine
A stunning selection: Heidi's bridesmaids were unusually clad in black for the ceremony
Strict instructions: Heidi looked to be taking control of the day as she issued a message to her pal
All in order: In a bid to keep the children entertained, the adults clutched onto books to keep the kids in order
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3773071/PICTURE-EXCLUSIVE-love-husband-Heidi-Range-vision-sports-exquisite-lace-gown-marry-Alex-Partakis-idyllic-Italian-ceremony.html#ixzz4JHpjHw2g
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