Disney have announced full casting for the London transfer of Broadway hit musical Aladdin.
Dean John-Wilson will play Aladdin alongside Jade Ewen as Jasmine when the production opens at the Price Edward theatre next year.
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.
Dean, a former semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent has recently been seen in the National theatre’s production of Here Lies Love, Songs for a New World (St. James Theatre), Tim Rice’s From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre) and the UK tour of Sister Act.
Jade Ewen is a former member of the Sugarbabes and is currently starring in the hit new musical In The Heights at the King’s Cross Theatre. She made her professional debut as Nahla in Disney’s Lion King and also represented the UK in the Eurovision song contest with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s It’s My Time.
Gallagher comes to the role of chief antagonist Jaffar following performances in Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre), The Producers (Drury Lane) and Les Miserables (Queens Theatre).
Peter Howe who plays Jaffar’s trusty feathered side-kick Iago 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).
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).
Aladdin’s three friends are played by Nathan Amzi (In The Heights, Kings Cross Theatre; Dinner With Saddam, Menier Chocolate Factory; Urinetown The Musical, Apollo Theatre); Emmerdale’s Stephen Rahman-Hughes (Bombay Dreams, Apollo Victoria Theatre) and Rachid Sabitri (Romeo And Juliet, Piccadilly Theatre).
Talking about this morning’s casting news, President and producer at Disney Theatrical Productions Thomas Schumacher said: “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. 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.”
Casey Nicholaw directs and choreographs the show, which will replace the revival of Miss Saigon which is due to close on 27 February next year.
The musical features several of the original songs including “Prince Ali”, “Friend Like Me” and Rice’s and Menken’s hit song “A Whole New World” which won the Academy Award for best original song.
Aladdin opens at the Prince Edward Theatre on 15 June 2016, with previews from 27 May 2016.