One of the most profitable stage musicals of all time, The Lion King was adapted from the multi-Oscar-winning animated film of the same name (1994), and is famous for its huge animal puppets and expensive stage set, as well as the sheer number of performers involved. The story involves young lion cub, Simba, son of the incumbent king of the Pride Lands, Musafa. Simba is naïve, but good-hearted, but his birth is resented by his uncle, the king's brother, Scar, who believes himself to be the rightful king. Always trying to place young Simba in danger, Scar then turns his murderous attentions to Musafa, and succeeds in orchestrating his brother's demise, as he saves Simba from danger. Scar persuades Simba that the young lion cub is responsible for his father's death, and the guilt forces Simba to flee the Pride Lands in shame. In the meantime, Scar tells the rest of the court that both Musafa and Simba are dead, and instals himself as king. Out in the desert, Simba makes new friends, and grows into a strong lion. With Scar reducing the Pride Lands to a miserable, soulless place, everyone is desperate for some hope, so when Simba's childhood friend, Nala, discovers he is alive, Simba learns the truth about Scar's deception and returns to the Pride Lands to claim his rightful throne.
Elton John and Tim Rice were the musical geniuses behind the songs, with some of Hans Zimmer's film score also being woven into the fabric of the show. Favourites like “Circle Of Life”, “Be Prepared” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” fit seamlessly into the story developed from the original Disney script by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. The musical was first performed in Minneapolis in July 1997, before moving to the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway in the October. In 1996, the show moved to Minskoff Theatre, where it remains today. The West End production in London premiered at the Lyceum Theatre in October 1999, and is still running. In 1998, the show won a Tony Award for Best Musical, and has since toured the world in places such as Taipei, Hamburg, Honolulu, Las Vegas and Tokyo.
A family favourite, tickets for The Lion King in London regularly sell out, so early booking is advisable.
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