The Lion King. I don’t think it needs any further explanations as it is a Disney classic and everyone has at some point seen the animated film. The live theatre production has been given rave reviews and in fact, it celebrated its 15th birthday in the London West End last October so it must be doing something right. It is the highest grossing theatre show globally, making more money than all the Harry Potter films did altogether on screen. It is a musical so i was curious to see whether the classic Disney tale would translate well on to the live action stage and enrapture me in its magic.
Honestly from the first musical note, i was hooked. Set to African percussion instruments, the stage was bought to life with gigantic Elephants coming up the theatre aisles joining all the animals on stage. The beautiful nature in the way the animals have been designed is simply ingenious; there were giraffes on stilts, antelopes prancing gracefully on bicycle like structures and long bendy poles holding the birds atop the audience. The whole display was mesmerising and bought the African animal kingdom to life on stage. You just know that the creator of this musical studied the animals so closely ensuring all the actors replicated their movements and really bought the audience onto the African plains.
All actors were fantastic keeping the audience entranced with the story and their acting was phenomenal. The young children who play the child versions of Simba (Shaquahn Crowe) and Nala (Kira Spencer Brown) were brilliant and had convincing chemistry from the start. My personal favourite was Zazu, the loveable King Mustafa’s advisor played by Harold Gossington who had a convincing birdlike voice and movements.
Everyone should put this play on their bucket list and watch it once in their lifetime. It is a wonderful spectacle on stage and one which will be remembered by all for years to come.
The play is at the Lyceum Theatre in London and you can buy tickets here