PICTURE SPECIAL: Sudbury Academy’s Aladdin - ‘a great big barrel full of fun’

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY
Aladdin dress rehearsal
Princess Jasmine Danie McIntyre Aladdin Harry Milson
Picture Mark Westley
ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY Aladdin dress rehearsal Princess Jasmine Danie McIntyre Aladdin Harry Milson Picture Mark Westley

Fun. A great big barrel full of fun!

That’s how I’d describe Ormiston Sudbury Academy’s production of the Disney classic Aladdin Jr. last week.

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY
Aladdin dress rehearsal

Picture Mark Westley

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY Aladdin dress rehearsal Picture Mark Westley

Expectations are of course high after so many years of top level entertainment from the academy, and with so many ‘new’ faces in lead roles there was of course anticipation and perhaps trepidation.

But, you know what, if you left that building without a smile on your face, then you, Sir, have a serious case of the melancholy.

Yes, things went wrong, from skipping sound tracks and caught curtains, to quite serious-sounding 
mishaps backstage, but the way these young 
actors handled the challenges they faced through 
no fault of their own was quite incredible, and in actual fact made it even funnier.

As the academy’s head of Performance Leo Cox said: “Aladdin is just one big pantomime, really,” and that was in no way a criticism.

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY
Aladdin dress rehearsal
Cameron Sawyer- Jafar
Picture Mark Westley

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY Aladdin dress rehearsal Cameron Sawyer- Jafar Picture Mark Westley

Usually I pick out one star performer – something we will get to later – but for me the standout moment had to be the ‘flying carpet scene’.

The props team had cleverly used a small cherry picker-style piece of machinery to get the effect of flying through the air during the iconic ‘A Whole New World’ duet.

After Aladdin and Jasmine dismounted there was a loud ‘clunk’ from behind the curtain, followed by an even louder, “It’s okay, we’re alive” from backstage.

The audience’s laughter, and sighs of relief, were only matched when Aladdin (Harry Milsom) quickly hugged Jasmine and exclaimed “they’re alive”.

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY
Aladdin dress rehearsal
Sultan- Connor Robinson
Picture Mark Westley

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY Aladdin dress rehearsal Sultan- Connor Robinson Picture Mark Westley

Brilliant improvisation which provided some extra sparkle to an already great production.

Milsom oozed class. His American accent (it is Disney) was seamless and you totally believed his role. He made you forget you were watching a school production.

His is yet another Ormiston name to add to the list to keep tabs on for the future.

He was ably assisted by young Matthew Bocking as the monkey Abu as Aladdin attempted to woo the beautiful young princess Jasmine (Danielle McIntrye/Amber Turner).

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY
Aladdin dress rehearsal

Picture Mark Westley

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY Aladdin dress rehearsal Picture Mark Westley

Milsom was great and I was equally impressed by Cameron Sawyer as Jafar and his parrot Iago (Katherine Gaukroger).

However, the show was taken to another level by Ryan Bailey-Knox as the incredibly athletic Genie.

He brought energy, humour and some very impressive gymnastic skills to the role and left the audiences in stitches with his full-on camp portrayal of the magic slave.

He certainly impressed Sudbury town councillor John Sayers, who was glowing in his review of the show.

“The Genie was hilarious, I thought it was really funny,” he told me. “From an ordinary member of the public’s point of view I thought they put on such a professional looking show with so many children so synchronised.

“They must have dedicated so much practice time,”

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY
Aladdin dress rehearsal
Princess Jasmine Danie McIntyre
Picture Mark Westley

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY Aladdin dress rehearsal Princess Jasmine Danie McIntyre Picture Mark Westley

Indeed John is correct, it was a brilliant show and congratulations to all of the cast and crew.

Unfortunately this review isn’t long enough to name each actor, dancer and singer by name. All of you did a brilliant job and I look forward to seeing more Ormiston Sudbury Academy productions in the future.

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY
Aladdin dress rehearsal
Princess Jasmine Danie McIntyre
Picture Mark Westley

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY Aladdin dress rehearsal Princess Jasmine Danie McIntyre Picture Mark Westley

The cast of Ormiston Sudbury Academy's production of Aladdin Jr.

The cast of Ormiston Sudbury Academy's production of Aladdin Jr.

Matthew Bocking as Abu in Ormiston Sudbury Academy's production of Aladdin Jr.

Matthew Bocking as Abu in Ormiston Sudbury Academy's production of Aladdin Jr.

Jafar (Cameron Sawyer) and Iago (Katherine Gaukroger) busy plotting in Ormiston Sudbury Academy's production of Aladdin Jr.

Jafar (Cameron Sawyer) and Iago (Katherine Gaukroger) busy plotting in Ormiston Sudbury Academy's production of Aladdin Jr.

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY
Aladdin dress rehearsal
Genie Ryan Bailey-Knox
Picture Mark Westley

ORISTON SUBDURY ACADEMY Aladdin dress rehearsal Genie Ryan Bailey-Knox Picture Mark Westley