The Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End has been the home of Disney’s – The Lion King since October 1999. So this year, it celebrates its 20th anniversary. The musical originally opened on Broadway in 1997. The musical has played in over 25 worldwide capitals and is also a winner of a Tony Award for Best Musical. The Lion King musical is based on the film from 1994 of the same name and includes all the classic songs “Circle of Life”, “I Just Can’t-Wait to be King”, “Hakuna Matata”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.
The show itself brings Africa straight into the theatre with a colourful set and detailed costumes, makeup and puppetry. African masks, Japanese Kabuki costumes and Malaysian shadow puppetry are all brought together in an explosion of spectacular. Performers leap over the stage like gazelles with antelope puppets on their arms, the giraffes are actors on stilts and the hyenas are both funny and eerie looking all the same time, but it works really well. The score is played from a live orchestra with bongo drummers and African percussions delivered from the uppermost boxes on the left and the right of the stage. There is simply nothing like this musical on a production level and the fact that it stands the test of time is testament to this.
The tickets to this musical are pricey with Saturday prices ranging from £51.00 all the way up to £203.00. However, if you visit the theatre there is a limited number of cheap tickets available for each nights performance which go on sale at the box office every morning at 10 am, priced at £20-£25 which isn’t too bad at all.