Art for entertainment's sake

The Lion King Show Review

the lion king show

The Lion King is a very successful musical that is based on the popular Disney film of the same name that was released in 1994. The show began in America in 1997 and was an instant success moving onto Broadway and eventually to the West End of London in 1999. So, what has made this stage musical so popular with worldwide audiences? here we take a look at the production in detail.

The Story

The central character in The Lion King is Simba the lion who will inherit his father Mufasa’s throne at some point much to the chagrin of his Uncle Scar who wants to become King of the Pride Lands himself. Scar forms a plan to kill the pair whereby the hyenas stampede. The plan doesn’t quite work out for Scar as Mufasa is indeed killed by Scar’s own hand but Simba survives.

Scar blames the stampede on Simba in order to turn the pride against him so Simba flees for his life vowing never to return. Simba is discovered dishevelled and exhausted by by a meerkat called Timon and a warthog called Pumbaa. The three of them become friends, while Simba spends the next few years living together until one day when he has reached adulthood he is discovered by Nala his friend from long ago.

Nala is astonished that Simba is still alive and begs him to return to The Pride Lands in order to oust Scar who has reigned supreme since Timba left but has mismanaged the lands causing much misery and hardship to all that live there. Nala tells Simba that she fears all the animals will eventually starve to death if he does not return to fight for what is rightfully his.

Simba vows to return to fight Scar, while on doing so he discovers that it was Scar who killed his father and that he Simba was not responsible in any way. Simba had held himself responsible for the stampede and his fathers demise for many years. Simba utimately wins the day gaining his rightful place on his late fathers throne.

The Production

This award winning musical is now in its fifteenth year on the London stage and is also making its first tour of the UK this year (2013). It is said to be a theatrical event not to be missed especially if you are a musicals fan. Directed by Julie Taymor the show is a musical extravaganza that has amazing costumes, special effects and phenomenal puppetry that brings the animals to life in a unique way. Taymor won the 1998 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical plus Best Costumes for The Lion King.

The Lion King, showing at The Lyceum Theatre, is a truly worldwide success with audiences in the UK, New York, Hamburg, Sydney, Sao Paolo, Madrid, Japan and most of North America flocking to see the spectacle. Of course the success of this show is not only down to the expert innovative staging but also is due to the excellent musical score written by Elton John and Tim Rice.

Two of Eltons most successful singles are popular songs from The Lion King. The Circle of Life and Can You Feel The Love Tonight were massive hits, while Elton also won a Grammy for the musical score in the show. Tim Rice has long been associated with musical theatre and has written some astounding lyrics over the years for many unforgettable songs. Time Rice is also a multi award winning talent for many of his screen and stage lyrics.

London Cast

Simba is played by Jonathan Andrew Hume

Scar is played by George Asprey

Mufasa is played by Shaun Escoffery

Timon is played by Richard Frame

Pumbaa is played by Keith Bookman

Nala is plyed by Melina M’Poy

Zazu is played by Ashley Artus

Rafiki is played by Nteliseng Nkhela