The Lion King debuted in London on the 19th October, 1999. It has since become a landmark in the West End programme, holding its spot at the Lyceum Theatre ever since and entertaining over 15 million theatregoers. Now the award-winning musical prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary with a mega UK and Ireland tour; the second time the show will perform before UK audiences outside of its regular home. The tour is expected to commence in Bristol this September.
The musical remains one of the most beloved theatre productions of all time, holding on to the status of being the West End’s best seller and sixth longest-running show to date. It followed Disney’s first stage show ‘Beauty and the Beast’, but turned it up a notch on creativity, where bringing a whole host of animals to life required imagination like never before. The musical transports audiences to the Serengeti Plains, bursting with kaleidoscopic backdrops and vibrant, colourful costumes designed by the award-winning Julie Taymor.
It also features the timeless score by Elton John and Tim Rice, with iconic songs from the animation such as ‘Circle of Life’, ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’ alongside original new tracks. The musical further distinguishes itself from the feature-length cartoon, with certain character changes (Rafiki is a female in the stage adaptation due to under representation of females playing a lead) and new narratives, guaranteeing the show not only respects the children’s classic but also takes audiences through new experiences.
The Lion King musical knows how to impress, pushing boundaries and breaking limits when it comes to theatre. So it seems only natural that it goes all out with its birthday celebrations, not only embarking on a tour but also hosting a gala performance, events streamed live on TV and branching out with various charity partnerships. Having toured only once before between 2012-2015, audiences all over the nations are eager for more.
Take a look at the performance of 'Circle of Life' at the Gala Awards 2018.
As of yet, the tour features runs in Bristol Hippodrome in September and Edinburgh Playhouse in December. Disney are expected to release further tour dates and venues in the near future, though it is expected to make the rounds to major cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Dublin. Tickets for Bristol are expected to go on sale in February.
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