Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
A Roaring Success
The Lion King is my favourite Disney movie. Released in 1994, it is the second highest grossing animated film of all time. It is a fantastic film, but...The Lion King Musical is even better. The fact that it has been running for fourteen years at the Lyceum Theatre is testament to that.
The atmosphere is electric. As soon as Sir Elton John's and Tim Rice's song 'The Circle of Life' started to play, I was overwhelmed with a sense of awe. I've heard that song so many times while watching the film on DVD, but hearing it performed by live singers in surround sound was completely mesmerising. I was no longer at the theatre. I was in the Pride Lands.
The costumes were inspiring, something very unique. The actors don't wear animal suits - which would be hard to take seriously - but the costume designers were very creative, looking at African art and culture for their inspiration. I think one of their cleverest designs were for the giraffes, in which very well balanced actors stand on four extremely tall stilts.
The plot is slightly different from that seen in the film, as it uses the original script made before re-drafts and cuts, but I think that makes it all the more dramatic.
There is plenty of humour as well, particularly from Zazu, who is played by a man controlling a puppet. You would think it impossible not to notice the blue painted actor on stage, but as soon as he started working the puppet, I completely forgot he existed. All I saw was the puppet, who seemed as real as any of the other characters on stage.
The Lion King is one of the best musicals ever performed at the West End. Performances are on Tuesdays to Sundays at either 2.30pm or 7.30pm, and tickets are between £25 and £67.50. You can buy a programme before you go in, but unless you are really interested in who is playing who, then it is not really worth it. What is worth it, however, is a trip to the gift shop afterwards, where you can find really nice quality memorabilia such as toys and CDs.