The Lion King at Lyceum Theatre, London
Performance: Wednesday 2nd May 2012 at 19:30
Seat: Rear left stalls, £42.50
Cast included: Andile Gumbi (Simba), Carole Stennett (Nala), Shaun Escoffery (Mufasa), George Asperey (Scar), Brown Lindiwe Mkhize (Rafiki), Stephen Matthews (Zazu), Jamie Golding (Timon, s/b), Keith Bookman (Pumbaa)
I won't go into explaining the plot because I am sure pretty much everybody knows what happens in The Lion King. Consequently, I am sure most of you can also imagine how difficult staging something like that is. The stage production does a great job of recreating the famous Disney film: the story line and even parts of the script have been kept the same with some added material to extend it to a full-length musical.
|Rafiki, who didn't speak a lot of English (Source)|
An enormous amount of creativity had been used with the costumes and the puppetry. Of course one cannot expect it to be completely realistic: you do remain aware of the fact that there are people jumping around the stage with two heads dressed as lions and others running back and forth with decorated sticks that represent birds.
Footage of the Original West End cast doing their thing:
The Lion King I think is a show you go and see for the costumes and the amazing merchandise rather than the story line. The musical has become a part of London's street view by now; it has been playing in the West End continuously since 1999 so it obviously is something people want to go and see. These Disney musicals seem to do pretty well (think Beauty and the Beast for instance). Personally I would love to see The Little Mermaid come over. Sierra Boggess kind of should be Ariel for that... not trying to be greedy or anything...
|Wallace Smith and Kissy Simmons in the|
Broadway production (Source)
One of the most surreal things was hearing and seeing all the songs from the film (which is one of the very few films I have seen umpteen times) sung live. In a way it never dawned to me that a group of people have actually gone and recorded the songs for the film - I knew it but the realisation only hit me while watching the musical.
|Aren't those giraffes awesome! (Source)|
I'm happy I went to see this one as it was definitely worth seeing once. I just had one question when leaving the auditorium and I cannot say I have figured it out yet: Why did Mufasa not have a tail?