Aladdin and His Magical Europe Refugee Tour 2016

The show is a modern adaptation of the famous Arab folk story, in which Aladdin takes his wife Jasmine (her real name is too difficult for a European audience to pronounce) to Greece, Italy and Scotland to seek asylum. Along the way, they are forced to go away after a temporary stay. It is a bit like our ticket to this show, as the Norwegian duo Åsleik & Jon tells us at the outset – we will have to move out before the next one begins.

Ultimately, the show does not seek any easy resolutions.

In their terms, the refugee crisis is re-worked into a fantasy comedy with Åsleik as Aladdin and Jon playing a range of roles including the genie, the overzealous Swedish girl who ‘saves’ a refugee, and several immigrant officers from different countries. They also brought a massive wardrobe along that has several compartments where various props magically emerge, and which serve as a stage prop by itself.

The duo does not shy away from difficult political questions, and through their musical numbers, they are able to make fun of conservatives who are anti-immigration. They also mock the idea that refugees are all potential terrorists, and return with some caricatures of other European countries of their own. Jon’s Italian tomato mafia is a gloriously funny creation, as is his (bad) impersonation of a Scottish border guard.

Ultimately, the show does not seek any easy resolutions. Aladdin’s three wishes do run out rather quickly. They don’t, in Åsleik’s words ‘solve the refugee crisis’, and the whole point of the show is just that: a series of funny songs and idiosyncratic fairy-tale manoeuvres that finally don’t add up, and can’t add up to anything transformative. It does, however, leave the audience with a smile on their faces, without really touching beneath the smokescreen of pain and misery that confronts the Syrian refugees every day. But, as they would say, how could they? They are just two white men trying to indulge themselves.

Reviews by Timothy Leonine Tsang


Child’s Play

Greenside @ Infirmary Street


Pleasance Dome

Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show


A Working Title


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Aladdin, his wife and genie flee to Europe for a better future in this musical road comedy that gives voice to the refugee crisis. An adventure including Greek beaches, exhausted immigration officials, Italian tomato mafia, suicide bombers and smartphones. Using a mix of physical theatre, live music, puppetry, storytelling, stand-up comedy and a little help from the audience, Norwegian multi-artists Åsleik & Jon make their debut at the Fringe. ‘I have hardly ever laughed as much in theatre… sparkling original text in exquisite cooperation with the composer’ ****** (Aftenposten).

Most Popular See More

Witness for the Prosecution

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets