BWW Interview: Chad Beguelin - Book Writer and Additional Lyricist For ALADDIN!
We caught up with lyricist and book writer Chad Beguelin just as Aladdin opened in the West End last week - and he was very excited.
"It seems to be going well!" he enthused. "The cast has been amazing. It's one of the most talented casts I've ever seen, and you can tell they're enjoying it just as much as the audience."
There have been a few tweaks to the script for the London transfer - and a few lines they initially amended but put back in on the cast's advice ("They were like, 'No, we get it, we get your jokes!'"). It's something Beguelin also encountered when Elf transferred to the UK - and he says, "You always err on the side of caution - but a joke is a joke is a joke."
Adapting a much-loved film for the stage is a challenge.
"You want to make sure that die-hard fans of the film get what they're expecting - but you don't want to put a carbon copy of the film on stage. With Aladdin, we were lucky enough to be able to incorporate some of the cut songs from the film that Howard Ashman and Alan Menken had written - it's really gratifying to see these lost songs get a new life.
"At first it felt like a jigsaw puzzle - you want to make sure the new material meshes with the old material. We learnt so much about how the show flowed - it was a lot of trial and error, and you can always rely on the audience to let you know when you get it right or wrong!"
Now the show is safely open, Beguelin and his colleagues are planning to be back to visit their London cast "as often as they'll let us" - but he's confident that the show will go down well with the audiences.
"It's in such great hands here," he says. "We've pitched the show at several different levels - I always thought the demographic would be just families, but there's definitely something for everyone."