As a childhood fan of Disney’s THE LION KING, seeing the West End adaptation of one of the most popular animations of all time was always at the top of my list, so you can imagine the huge grin on my face when the invitation came to see the musical as part of the celebrations for Black History Month.
The hype that trails the LION KING meant I had high expectations prior to seeing the show and I’m glad to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
Opening with a rendition of ‘The Circle of Life‘- a colourful, imaginative and engaging performance that reminds you of the magnificence of the great African Savannah. The entire production brings to life the much-loved characters of Mufasa, Simba, Timon and Pumbaa with an ingenious combination of creative staging and fantastic lighting.
If like me, you know most of the lines in the animation word for word, you may worry that half way through the show, boredom would set in. You need not fear, there are some adaptations to the plot and an extended score to keep you sufficiently glued to your seat throughout the performance.
In addition to the witty dialogue that characterised the original animation, the are laugh out loud moments with references to contemporary culture (even Frozen gets a mention), endearing performances by some of the younger cast, and goosebumps during the shows finest moments. A spectacular scene where Simba speaks to his dead father’s apparition in a pond under the starry African skies comes to mind.
From the ingenious use of puppetry, to the painstakingly sourced and intricately designed costumes worn by the cast, the attention to detail in the production of the LION KING is simply breathtaking. Julie Taymor’s creative vision does much to add credibility to a touching story beloved by many not just by merely retelling the tale, but by using the sights and sounds of the African Savannah which inspired the movie to bring the story literally to life on the West End.
It’s not hard to see why the LION KING is now one of the longest running shows in the West End- this is its 17th year. It’s appeal not just to adults but also children makes it a firm favourite with families. Judging from the reactions of the kids sat in front of me, the show will continue to play to a sold out audience for a while yet.
For tickets and further information about the LION KING, click here.
Tickets are currently on sale until Sunday 26th February 2017 for individuals and 4th June 2017 for Groups.
THE LION KING plays Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm with matinee performances on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm.