If you read Tuesday’s post, you’ll know that last Saturday I went to see The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre in London. I had actually been to The Lyceum before – and to see The Lion King – but Ash had never been. As he bought me tickets for Aladdin at Christmas, I promised I would take him to see the show of his choice and we ended up making an evening of it.
On one of the previous occasions I’d been, I remember sitting close to aisle and the excitement of seeing the animals make their way through the stalls. Thankfully when I bought the tickets, there were two seats available next to the aisle and I had to book them – promising Ash the aisle seat and the opportunity to touch the animals as they went past... I don’t think he was as excited as me! We were about five rows from the back but the views were absolutely fine. There was plenty of space, particularly compared to when we were at The Prince Edward. However, the temperature was far too hot and after the interval, starting verging on uncomfortable. By then, we were both tired too.
The beginning with forever be my favourite – the animals of Pride Rock making their way from the stalls to the stage, ready to bow down to Simba who is ready to be announced by Mufasa and Sarabi. I have to admit the other aisle got a better choice of animals, but it’s still so magical – and a first glimpse at all the amazing costumes and make up. So much time must go into making them, but it’s definitely one of the highlights of the show.
Because so much emphasis is put on the costumes, I did feel as though the stage was lacking. Pride Rock was pretty impressive, but more could have been made of the locations, rather than just different backdrops. I was expecting more props, although a lot of the time, the stage was filled with the cast. However, the puppetry was also amazing – from the strings being pulled on the costumes of the ensemble to move limbs of the animals, to the shadow puppets going across the stage at various points in the show.
The cast were fabulous – and there were so many young actors and actresses making their debuts in the West End. Young Simba and Nala (Theo Grant and Shaye Temple) were amazing, particularly given their large roles. The moment they both transformed into their adult characters was also brilliant. The three Hyenas were also hilarious; although in the Disney classic, they terrify me. As you’d expect, Timon and Pumbaa were hilarious and I loved how relevant the script was – there were a couple of jokes which the audience could relate to.
From the film, my favourite two songs are I Just Can't Wait to Be King and Hakuna Matata and they were performed so well. You couldn’t help but have a smile on your face, want to sing and clap along. During the former, young Simba and Nala emerged sat on giant colourful giraffes, which of course I loved. In fact, of all the animals in the ensemble, the giraffes were my favourite, with the gazelles a very close second – they were just so graceful.
It’s obvious to see why The Lion King has been successful for so many years... I think it’s now in its 18th year, which is impressive. I would definitely go back and see it again, because it’s one of those shows you could never get bored of. It’s so feel-good and just a classic! You can buy tickets for The Lion King from £27.70 and currently book until October this year. More details are here.
Love, Lucy xx