It all started with a salam..
One thing I loved, even before the play started, was the fact that everyone addressed us with a ‘Salam’. This was so beautifully simple and a nice touch.
The set was simply beautiful. The detail was breathtaking and precise. The border was so beautiful, it inspired me deeply. It had a royal look to it; it was very ornamental and golden yet it did not seem to gaudy. It still played beautifully with all the other scenes and was like a photo frame capturing the play in it.
They also used a collage to blend together different images. If you look closely there were many textiles combined together. It gave an Arabian look to it. This feeling of being in Arabia was further amplified with the opening song ‘Arabian Night’. Another thing about the set was that there were these big lanterns. They kept changing colours. It started with a warm yellow glow but it kept changing. When Jafar came onto stage, it became green.
The play started with the genie as the narrator and through a song. They introduced Agraba and the characters through this song and it was so beautiful. It was like reading a story that flowed beautifully.
I noticed that a theme that was very prominent was equality. They kept saying that Jasmine was a brat and that she rejected everyone but in reality, all she wanted was an equal partner. This was shown again and again, not only through the character of Jasmine but also her father. Along with equality there was also a theme of woman empowerment. These two themes usually go hand in hand, and this play was no exception. One thing I loved was how Jasmine was never shown as a damsel in distress. It was always Aladdin in trouble. This choice of bringing Jasmine into the 21st century was a smart decision done by the director and required barely any effort. There is also a theme of freedom. Jasmine wants to run away from her life and Aladdin wants to stop running. They both want to live their lives the way they want. This want of freedom is what drives the play.
Iago: He turns sinister and sarcastic. He is always slouching and shows signs of severe abuse. His character acts like he’s gay and super dramatic, and he’s actually not a completely funny character. It’s only the way the acts and talks that make it slightly funny but what he talks about is very deep and cynical.
Genie: The use of Hindi when the genie was introducing himself was amazing. It immediately formed a bond with the audience through the jokes of Delhi and Hindi. He had the first complete monologue meant for comedy.
• The scene in which Jasmine and Aladdin have that running convo is so beautiful. Also, the scene in which they compare between their lives was amazing.
• The scene with the floating jellyfish was mind blowing; there was a blackout and suddenly there are floating jellyfish just lighting up the stage. It was magical!
• The scene in which they have the magic carpet ride.
• Jafar’s instant costume change in the end.
The light went off in the middle of the show causing the mics turn off too. The actors kept acting. Aladdin even sang his song. It was what we learn about never stopping the play, but this time I saw it in real life.