Disney’s The Lion King begins second UK and Ireland tour at The Bristol Hippodrome
The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland began their UK and Ireland tour of the landmark musical THE LION KING at The Bristol Hippodrome last night, Thursday 12 September. The tour will continue on to Edinburgh, Bradford, Cardiff and Southampton with further dates to be announced in due course.
The tour coincides with THE LION KING celebrating 20 years at London’s Lyceum Theatre. Since the UK premiere in London on Tuesday 19th October 1999, THE LION KING has entertained over 16 million theatregoers and remains the West End’s best-selling stage production and the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time. THE LION KING is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.
THE LION KING includes Dashaun Young, Josslynn Hlenti and Thandazile Soni in the roles of Simba, Nala and Rafiki. The company also includes Steve Beirnaert, Matthew Forbes, Jean-Luc Guizonne, Richard Hurst, Alan McHale, Rebecca Omogbehin, Carl Sanderson, and Simon Trinder.
The full company includes: Lwandolwethu Dennis Bam, Khanyisani Beato, Nigel Brown, Rushand Chambers, Tau-En Chien, Javier Cid, Jorrell Coiffic-Kamall, Tevin Daniel, Tim Driesen, Matthew Elliot-Campbell, Willians Ferreira, Oraine Frater, Brian Gilligan, Daniel Griffith, Alicia Hayward, Zalika Henry, Caleaf Hensen, Olivia Jones, Melvin La Blanc, Jochebel Ohene MacCarthy, Zanele Mazibuko, Daniel De Jesus Mejia Garcia, Zanele Ndlovu, Buhle Nkomo, Brianna Ogunbawo, Paige Peddie, Tara Price, Charlotte Samaroo, Cristiane Santos De Jesus, Mamido Bomboko Souchu, Sherry Tay, Francesca Thompson, Connor Pele Williams, Maria Yim and Bukiwe Zinganto.
The previous tour of THE LION KING broke attendance records across the nation. With a cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers, the story of THE LION KING is miraculously brought to life using masks, puppets and striking costumes to tell the story of Simba’s epic adventure as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming king.
The stunning artistry of THE LION KING is the work of a team of designers which drew on diverse cultural influences to recreate the rich colours and vast expanses of the African savanna in this daring and inspiring reinvention of one of the most successful animated films of all time.
Julie Taymor’s internationally-celebrated stage adaptation opened on Broadway in 1997 and 25 global productions have now been seen by more than 100 million people. The show has been performed in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese). Productions of THE LION KING can be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; on tour across the UK & Ireland, Japan and North America, with a separate production touring internationally, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe.
Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, THE LION KING’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.
Julie Taymor, one of the world’s most innovative directors, brought a vast array of disciplines to THE LION KING, including extensive experience staging epic theatre and opera productions, exploring classic myths through ritualised puppetry, mask, and movement. THE LION KING was the first musical she directed in the commercial theatre, and Taymor made Broadway history by becoming the first woman to win the Tony Award® for Best Director of a Musical.
The show’s full creative team, which won five Tony Awards® for its work on THE LION KING, reunited in 1999 to recreate the show in London. Julie Taymor and Michael Curry created hundreds of masks and puppets. Scenic design is by leading British designer Richard Hudson and lighting is by Donald Holder. Costume design is by Julie Taymor, and choreography by Garth Fagan. The book was adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the screenplay.
The original score from the animated film was expanded for the stage and now features 15 musical numbers.
As well as writing completely new songs, South African composer Lebo M created an evocative blend of African rhythms and chorales, with additional material by Julie Taymor and Mark Mancina. Sir Elton John and Sir Tim Rice have added three new numbers to the five that they wrote for the award-winning score of the animated film. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, including the Academy Award®-winning Can You Feel The Love Tonight and the haunting Shadowland.