By Jeremy Rochow
Last updated on: May 1, 2019 at 4:28 pm
Disney’s Aladdin captured the hearts and minds of children and adults alike when it was released in 1992.
Now, more than 25 years later, Aladdin the Musical has hit the stage at Adelaide Festival Centre’s Festival Theatre, making it the first Disney musical to visit Adelaide.
To celebrate RAA members getting cheaper tickets for selected Aladdin shows, samotor sat down with Shubshri Kandiah, who plays Princess Jasmine, to have a chat about the thrills and challenges of performing in Aladdin the Musical.
samotor: What has been the biggest thrill playing Princess Jasmine in Aladdin the Musical?
Shubshri Kandiah: Princess Jasmine is such an incredible character and it’s such a thrill to play her on stage.
Not only was she the first Disney princess of colour, she’s also a huge role model to many young girls showing her feistiness, strength and not being afraid to voice her opinions.
I love playing the character because I don’t think I am anything like Jasmine as a person and getting to step into her shoes every night has taught me so much about strength, love and standing up for what you believe in.
samotor: What’s been the biggest challenge playing Jasmine?
SK: I think that we are so lucky to live in Australia where equality between men and women isn’t a huge issue.
On a recent trip to Morocco, it was so eye opening to see the segregation and unequal treatment of men and women and how many of the issues Jasmine faces in the show are still relevant around the world today.
A challenge I faced was understanding and portraying the gravitas of these issues.
samotor: Why did you want to play this part?
SK: As a huge Disney fan growing up, working on this show now is an absolute dream.
I think the character I get to play is so inspiring and the story we get to tell every night is so special to so many people. It is an honour to be a part of that magic.
samotor: What can the audience expect from Aladdin the Musical?
SK: Audiences can expect a big Broadway spectacular! It’s everything you would want in a show and has something for everyone whether you like comedy, romance or action.
You will be absolutely blown away by the costumes, sets, props and dancing. There are fireworks on stage and a flying carpet. It’s a visual feast!
samotor: How can you relate to a character like Jasmine?
SK: I think Jasmine is such a relatable character for everyone. There’s a point in life for everyone when you could take the easy way out and follow what someone else has set out for you, or you could take a risk and follow your heart and see what comes of it.
It’s always scary but Jasmine, through her strength and determination, is such a role model in showing the joys and benefits of taking those chances.
samotor: Do you think the audience’s nostalgia from the Disney film creates a buzz around the musical?
SK: Definitely. I think the people who love the musical the most are those who grew up with the 1992 film.
The musical still has everything you remember about the film like the beautiful story and songs, but with added characters and new songs. It is such a beautifully put together musical, it’s hard not to love it.
samotor: Are there any surprises in the production that you can tell samotor readers about?
SK: I can’t give away too much, but there are quite a few surprises throughout the show that I’m sure the audience will love!