23 June 2016
Slick, quick and clichéd
Making fairy tales its business, Disney Theatrical Productions has become something of a business fairy tale. Set up by the movie company in 1993 to turn hit children’s films into stage shows, DTP has made billions from The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins and others. On the way are Frozen (expect “Let it Go” rousingly to end both acts) and Pinocchio, preceded by a London production of the latest Broadway gold mine, Aladdin.
Curiously, presumably due to availability of theatres, this classic pantomime narrative has landed in June, although the London weather unkindly tried to compensate with winds and hailstones on the opening night. Perhaps the summer felt right because this piece takes place in the heat. Apart from the key scene in the cave that holds the crucial prop of the lamp, the narrative alternates between the cool marbled palace of the Sultan and an eye-burningly vivid Arab street bazaar, where piles of fruit and fabric compete for brightness.
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