Disney’s The Lion King is a multi-award-winning musical based on the 1994 Disney animated ﬁlm of the same name. Have you seen the Pride of the West End yet? Here are 10 things you need to know about the show.
The Backstory of Disney’s The Lion King
The Lion King quickly became one of Disney’s most successful ﬁlms. It won the Academy Awards for Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer, and Best Original Song for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight. With two other songs nominated – Circle Of Life and Hakuna Matata – there was no surprise when Disney Theatrical Productions announced there would be a stage adaptation.
Just three years after the ﬁlm’s release, Disney’s The Lion King opened on Broadway, and quickly became the biggest musical in New York. It won ﬁve Tony Awards in its ﬁrst year including the award for Best Musical. Two years later, it went on tour around the US and opened at the Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End – where it’s been ever since.
Directed by Julie Taymor – who also created the Olivier Award-winning puppets and sets that turned stages around the world, including the Lyceum Theatre, into the plains of Africa – Disney’s The Lion King is a theatrical spectacle. Since its London opening in 1999, the production has played to over 14 million people and has appeared on the Royal Variety Performance in 1999 and 2008. It’s now the sixth longest-running musical on the West End.
In 2016 Disney announced that there will be a live-action remake of The Lion King starring Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar and James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa. The ﬁlm is set to be released in 2019 and will be directed by Jon Favreau.
What is The Lion King about?
Disney’s The Lion King is a radical retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, focusing on Simba, a young lion prince who must accept his past and face his destiny for the good of his people… well, animals.
When Simba is born, his uncle Scar is pushed one step further away from ruling the majestic Serengeti. In a bid to take the throne, Scar plots to kill young Simba and his father, King Mufasa. Simba – the rightful heir to the throne – survives the traitorous plot but is convinced he’s to blame for his father’s death. Ashamed and devastated, Simba ﬂees the kingdom and his responsibilities, leaving Scar to rule.
Struggling to survive, Simba meets two social outcasts, Timon and Pumbaa, who teach him how to live a carefree life unaware of what’s happening at home. Eventually, his past catches up to Simba and forces him to choose between the easy-going life he’s built, or the duties he was born to take. But with Scar in the way of his Pride, will Simba become the rightful Lion King?
What age is The Lion King appropriate for?
Disney’s The Lion King is suitable for audiences aged 5 and over. Children under three will not be admitted into the theatre.
How long is The Lion King?
Disney’s The Lion King is 2 hours and 30 minutes including one interval. Performances are normally Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm with matinees on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2.30pm.
Where is The Lion King playing in London?
Disney’s The Lion King is playing at the Lyceum Theatre where it opened in 1999. It’s currently the sixth longest running show in London’s West End.
How do I get to the Lyceum Theatre?
The Lyceum Theatre is approximately 300 metres from Covent Garden tube station. You can also get to The Lion King via overground trains from London Charing Cross, which is approximately 550 metres away.
Will The Lion King be touring?
Disney’s The Lion King is currently not touring the UK. The only place to see it is the Lyceum Theatre in the West End.
Where did Disney’s The Lion King originally open?
Disney’s The Lion King debuted in Minneapolis in July 1997 before premiering at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway just three months later. In 2006, the Broadway production moved to the Minskoﬀ Theatre where it’s still running.
The West End production is celebrating its 19th year, having opened on 19 October 1999 at the Lyceum Theatre, where it has entertained over 14 million people.
Will I like it?
It’s one of your favourite movies come to life. Not only that, it’s got life-sized puppets, music written by Elton John and an incredible cast. We’re pretty sure you’re going to love Disney’s The Lion King.
It completely wowed audiences when it ﬁrst opened almost 20 years ago and it’s still blowing audiences away today, and it has some of the most awe-inspiring costumes you’ll see on stage. Plus, there’s that familiar score which will give you goosebumps the instant Circle Of Life starts. It’s a great way to experience your favourite Disney ﬁlm in a whole new way, and it’s a great way to introduce your children to the magic of the theatre.
Where can I buy The Lion King tickets?
Right here with us! Just visit Official London Theatre’s Disney’s The Lion King page to find the best available tickets for great prices.