5.0 out of 5.0 stars

“I knew we were in for something special when the animal puppetry and actors on stilts to simulate being part of the giraffe herd came onto the stage, it was spectacular!”

Disney’s The Lion King is a familiar story, if you’re at all familiar with Shakespeare’s Hamlet or the various iterations of the Disney epic; either the animated feature of the 90s or the “live action” retelling of the story in the 2000s, it’s fair to say it is familiar territory, which is by no means a bad thing.

The stage version of The Lion King opens very much the same as the films; with the birth of Simba and I knew we were in for something special when the animal puppetry and actors on stilts to simulate being part of the giraffe herd came onto the stage, it was spectacular!

 

 

I really enjoyed that the production leant into the tribal aspect, focusing on that overall aesthetic for the Lions, and it makes perfect sense to do so, since this is a Pride of Lions; they are a tribe.

I liked the fact that this telling of The Lion King story, featured a few new scenes and songs that were omitted from the film versions, it was a refreshing take on an otherwise very familiar story.

 

 

The acting in the show is impeccable, a stand out for me was Thenjiwe Thendiva Nofemele as Rafiki, traditionally, in the films Rafiki is depicted as male and so the freshness of seeing a woman in the role was inviting and a engaging to see. Similarly, the pairing of Jamie McGregor and Mark Roper as Timon and Pumbaa was wonderful, they played off of each other well and were an engaging pair.

George Asprey made Scar his own, and I really think that he did such an amazing job, he rivals that of Jeremy Irons in the 1994 film version. I also really liked the seamless switching from the young version of Simba (Khylan St Paul Mark) to the adult Simba (Kayi Ushe) it’s seamless, happens at the same point as the film but it isn’t noticeable, I just know the story.

 

 

All in all, Disney’s The Lion King is a wonderful show to watch, it’s an incredible experience and there are no weak links in the cast, it’s a sight to behold and well worth seeing in this form.

 

 

BOOK NOW – Review written by Marc Jason Ali