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Kayi Ushe is joining the cast as Simba (Photo credit: James Everett)

Disney’s The Lion King announces new cast members for West End return

Published 12 May 2021

The West End production of DISNEY’S THE LION KING will welcome 14 new members to its cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers when it reopens its doors this summer. The award-winning landmark musical is set to return to the Lyceum Theatre on 29th July 2021, where the production has been seen by over 16 million people in the last two decades.

The newcomers join a uniquely international company from 17 countries around the world, led by George Asprey as Scar, David Blake as Banzai, Janique Charles as Nala, Gugwana Dlamini as Rafiki, Shaun Escoffery as Mufasa, Gary Jordan as Zazu, Jamie McGregor as Timon, Melone M’Kenzy as Shenzi and Mark Roper as Pumbaa.

Londoner Kayi Ushe, will take on the iconic role of ‘Simba’. Kayi joins the show having performed in The Book of Mormon, Motown The Musical and Crazy For You, as well as touring extensively as ‘Lola’ in Kinky Boots.

Kayi Ushe (Photo credit: James Everett)

THE LION KING also welcomes Phil Adèle, who will make his West End debut in the role of ‘Ed’, and new ensemble cast members from seven countries around the world: Gesztenye Botos, Reece Darlington-Delaire, Shak Gabbidon-Williams, Ryesha Higgs, Candice Holdford, Angela Marie Hurst, Duane Lamonte, Jane Carla Leynes, Deja Linton, Jonathan Lutwyche, Kearabetswe Mogotsi and Taela Yeomans-Brown.

Shak Gabbidon-Williams and Recce Darlington-Delaire previously played ‘Young Simba’ (Shak between 2007-2008 and Reece between 2008-2009) and have returned to the company years later as ensemble members. Angela Marie-Hurst and Deja Linton have both previously played ‘Young Nala’ (Angela in 2001 and Deja in 2009-10), now rejoining the show as ensemble members.

Since the premiere of Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation on Broadway in 1997, THE LION KING has entertained more than 100 million theatregoers in 25 productions worldwide. When the show closed its doors on Sunday 15th March 2020 it was the West End’s best-selling stage production and the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, THE LION KING has made theatrical history, with six productions worldwide running for 15 or more years.  The musical uses breathtaking masks and puppetry to create pure theatrical magic. At its heart is the powerful and moving story of Simba – the epic adventure of his journey from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands.

Click below to grab your tickets to see this iconic West End production.

disney's the lion king Kayi Ushe lyceum theatre

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