Based on Disney’s Academy Award-winning 1994 animated film the story is brought to life on stage by Julie Taymor with stunning animal puppetry and breathtaking scenic design that evokes the animals and landscapes of the African Savannah.
The shows story, loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet, takes place within a group of lions where young cub, Simba, is due to succeed his father, Mufusa, as king of Pride Rock. In a nasty turn of events, Simba’s evil uncle Scar, with designs on power, murders Mufusa and leads Simba to believe it was his fault. Subsequently Simba flees the Kingdom never to return. It will take his old friends, lioness Nala, baboon Rafiki, the charming double act of Timon the meerkat and Pumba the warthog, to help Simba gather the strength he needs to return to Pride Rock take on Scar and restore order to the animal kingdom.
The musical includes all of the original music from the film and also some new material. The films score was famously written by Elton John with lyrics by Time Rice and includes the catchy classics “The Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” “ Hakuna Matata,” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” with additional music by Hanns Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M.
It would be hard to imagine Disney surpassing the success of their animated classic but the musical has given it a run for its money having been seen across the globe where it continues to play and becoming the highest grossing Broadway show of all time. The show was Awarded with an impressive six Tony Awards when it opened on Broadway and has been a West End staple since 1999.
Julie Taymor brought her experience of working on opera and with puppetry to the staging of The Lion King to create a unique and visually arresting experience for the audience. The costumes also designed by Taymor bring to life the lions, birds, giraffes and even an elephant.
There is nothing else quite like it!
The Lion King makes the perfect outing for the whole family with adults and children alike being charmed by the beautiful aesthetic and score. This is also a great show for those who haven’t ventured to the theatre before.