Yeukayi Ushe describes his love of Aladdin, his favourite songs in the show and the inspiration behind a fantastic career in musical theatre.

What can audiences expect from Aladdin?

They can expect a night of Broadway-style glitz, glamour and magic with true heart. I’ve only been working with this company for a short while and the dedication of everybody involved is going to ensure that this production is a magical night that you are not going to forget in a hurry.”

How would you sum up your character of Genie? 

He is this magical being who is full of sunshine, wit, energy and vibrance. I can only hope to live up to the massive list of incredible people who have played the role before me and he’s like nobody I’ve ever played before myself. He is just so full of energy, so front-footed and so much fun. Hopefully I can relate to his sunshine and warmth. When I enter a room, I try to be that person who people can come up to and talk to. He’s like your best friend really and the kind of person who will help you come rain or shine.

Gavin Adams and Yeukayi Ushe star as Aladdin and Genie in the UK tour of Aladdin

Source: Deen Van Meer

Yeukayi Ushe says playing Genie is like nothing he has ever done before.

What attracted you to the show?

Genie is a character where you have all of this creative licence, all of this comedy and all of these iconic songs that he gets to sing. Having played Simba in The Lion King, to get to play another iconic Disney character is amazing. There is no way that I was going to pass up this opportunity.

Does it pose any challenges for you?

There are challenges in the different dance styles, in the different vocal styles and in the homage to the icons of Broadway. There’s so much to dedicate yourself to and to lend yourself to, and from working with everybody so far they are all lending themselves to the challenge too.

Read our review

We saw Aladdin at Milton Keynes Theatre on 25th April 2024. Read our thoughts about the show by clicking the button below.

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Can you recall when you first saw Aladdin?

The movie came out in 1992 and I’m not going to give away my age but I watched it when I was younger. I’m a massive Disney fan, so I’ve watched it a fair few times since. Before I knew it was Robin Williams in the movie I was like ‘is this really just one actor voicing this character?’ I was inspired by his performance and then you’ve got the underdog story of Aladdin as well. It made me think that I can be anything, I can shape shift and do whatever I want. And then the music. My God, the music!

Disney’s Aladdin musical

Source: Deen Van Meer, ©Disney

The musical is full of wonderful colours, costumes and music.

Speaking of the music, what’s your favourite song in the show and why?

That’s a really difficult question because the score is beautiful. Prince Ali is great and so full of life but I would have to say my favourite has to be Friend Like Me. In that number you get treated to all of the magic, all of the glitz, all of the glamour, all of the abundance, and the song builds and builds and builds.

If you could have three wishes granted, what would they be?

I would wish for the ability to eat anything that I wanted with the proviso that I wouldn’t gain any weight. I would wish to be able to travel to so many beautiful places across the world without having to queue up and get on a flight; I’d just click my fingers and I’m there. And then lastly, I would wish for my family and my friends to be comfortable and happy.

Yeukayi Ushe as Genie in the UK tour of Aladdin

Source: Deen Van Meer

Robin Williams inspired Yeukayi as the Genie when he was young.

What led you into this career?

It was actually because of Robin Williams. His performances in Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin inspired me from such a young age because there were no limitations to his voice, his comedy and the characters he played. I also watched a lot of Disney animation growing up, which was probably a good way to keep us quiet but it made me want to do this career and I’m so glad that I’ve landed where I am now.

Are there any stops on the top that are dear to your heart?

I love Edinburgh, the people, the buildings, the shops, everything. Cardiff bay is beautiful. In Plymouth you come out of the stage door, walk ten minutes and you’re overlooking the ocean. What more could you ask for? In Sunderland you’re not far from Rocker Beach. Milton Keynes is close to London so a lot of my London crowd and my London-based family came along. Manchester has an incredible buzz about it, as does Bristol. Bradford has a special place in my heart because I was there when I got the news that I’d be playing Simba in The Lion King.

The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton is gorgeous. I love the shopping in Birmingham and team at the Hippodrome are wonderful. Glasgow is also great and the last time I was there I thought ‘I could live here’.

Aladdin is on tour until 5th January 2025. For tickets and more information go to