Disney’s Aladdin Jr

Disney’s Aladdin Jr

By Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, and Chad Beguilin. Primadonna Productions. Directed by Carole Dhu. Pinjarra Civic Centre, WA. Jun 28-29, 2024

Primadonna Productions, just a week after their previous production, have mounted a very short season of Disney’s Aladdin Jr, with a cast ranging from tots to older teens. A most endearing production, this show features all Primadonna’s young performance troupe, with seven performing for the very first time.

Performing on a mostly bare stage, with set pieces constructed by Trevor Delaporte and Andy Peckover, the show employed professional projections, which made a fitting backdrop for the cast’s colourful Arabian style costuming. Lovely surprises included the appearances of (almost) life-size camels and an elephant, adding a bit of stage magic. Thoughtful lighting design came from Steven Jones.

Singing, to a professional backing (sometimes a little too loud) was strong and confident, and it was clear that lots of effort had been taken to rehearse these developing voices. 

Flynn Creelman, was charming in the title role, bringing quiet cheekiness rather than the cockiness we so often see – a strong and successful choice. Lovely work too from his three companions, the always strong Bonnie Creelman and Darien Peckover (Kassim and Babkak) and newcomer Jaxon Griffin as Omar.

Izzy Pritchard was a princess who knew her own mind and worth as Jasmine, in a striking performance, nicely accompanied by a strong trio of friends and handmaidens, played sweetly by Matilda Ellis, Poppy Warburton and Josie Fahl.

Bronwen Jones gave us a unique take on The Genie, clever and fun, and a big departure from Robin Williams – lovely to watch. 

Villainous Jafar was given maturity and a large dash of evil by Max Bonner, with Bianca Franklin good fun as side-kick-parrot Iago. The pair walked nicely over Caleb Archer’s good-hearted Sultan.  Jafar was well backed up by a collection of baddies including debuting Daisy Gordon intimidating as Razoul, and Guards Stephanie Fahl and Maikah-Bella Vallance. 

It was great seeing strong commitment to smaller roles, including Isabella Adley as Prince Abdullah, Shaynna Peckover as The Apple Vendor, Eveii Coles as the Bread Seller, and newbie Bailee Taylor as the Magic Carpet.  The ensemble worked hard, with most actors slipping in to assist the core ensemble at various times.

Great to see a packed matinee house and loads of community spirit and support for these youngsters. A joy to watch.

Kimberley Shaw