UK tour of Disney's Aladdin arrives at Sunderland Empire

Yeukayi Ushe on stage as Genie in Aladdin. Credit: Deen Van Meer

A Disney Broadway and West End musical is going on its first UK tour - with Sunderland one of a handful of locations to host the show.

Aladdin is on stage at The Sunderland Empire in the city until 10 March.

It opened on Thursday 15 February and is starring Sunderland's own Adam Strong as Jafar.

Adam, whose previous credits include Rock of Ages and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, spoke to ITV Tyne Tees after opening night.

He said: "I did my first ever show here when I was eight years old and it feels so amazing to be back home in one of the best theatres in the land.

Adam Strong is back on stage at the Sunderland Empire - where he made his debut at the age of eight. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

"I've been telling the cast and crew about how amazing our audiences are up here. Last night was electric and I'm sure it's going to be fantastic again tonight."

He added: "I love playing a villain. Always been a fan of Disney animation and to bring him to life - he's such an explosive character. You never know what you're going to get from him. It's such a great character for me because it's the opposite of who I am as a person."

Jasmine is being played by Desmonda Cathabel, who was a contestant on ITV's Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream and has also appeared in Miss Saigon and From Here to Eternity.

As well as its stars, the all-singing and all-dancing production will feature 162 costumes, 110 pairs of shoes and 100 hats.

The stage production is adapted from Disney's 1992 animated film and features some of its songs, alongside new music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin.

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