Disney’s The Lion King is the much-loved musical stage adaptation of the hugely successful animated film.
Disney’s award-winning musical is now in its 23rd triumphant year at London’s Lyceum Theatre, having entertained over 15 million theatregoers and become the West End’s sixth longest-running musical of all time.
Set against the majesty of the Serengeti, the awe-inspiring musical is directed by Julie Taymor, who also designed the Olivier Award-winning costumes that transform the stage and auditorium of the Lyceum Theatre into the African plains. Occupied by lions, giraffes, birds, zebras, hyenas and even a stampede of wildebeest, the show is perhaps most famous for its Circle Of Life opening number, which provides one of the most spectacular sights and atmospheres in the West End.
When the young lion prince Simba is born, his evil uncle Scar is pushed back to second in line to the throne. Unimpressed with his future prospects, Scar plots to kill both Simba and his father, Mufasa, becoming king in the process. Young Simba survives the heinous plot but is led to believe that his father died because of him. Devastated, he flees the kingdom and soon finds a carefree life. But without a real king, the pride soon falls on hard times and a hero is needed to bring back prosperity.
Released in 1994, The Lion King quickly became one of Disney’s most popular modern movies. At the 1995 Oscars it won the awards for Best Music: Original Score for Hans Zimmer’s score and Best Music: Original Song for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight. Two of the film’s other songs – Circle Of Life and Hakuna Matata – were also nominated. Both score and songs feature in the stage musical adaptation, along with some new material.
The musical adaptation debuted at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, going on to win six Tony Awards when it opened on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre in 1997. The show transferred to the Lyceum Theatre in October 1999, where it was nominated for eight Olivier Awards, and it participated at the Royal Variety Performance in 1999 and 2008 in the presence of the Royal Family.
A spectacular stage production in which astounding spectacle, uplifting heart and beloved music and lyrics combine, Disney’s The Lion King is not to be missed.
Looking for more about the show? Check out ‘Everything You Need To Know About The Lion King in London’!
And if you’re a teacher/careers advisor, Education Packs for this show (and more) are available in our Schools Resources area.
Looking to see some musical theatre? Find out more about London musicals.