Newest Review: ... looked like a baby lioness surrounded by grown lionesses, full of grace and elegance. The music of the Lion King is obviously well-known... more
Spectacular must-see production of a Disney classic
Member Name: worst_trip
Advantages: Familiar story set on stage, with literally jaw-dropping props and settings
Disadvantages: No comment
I accompanied a gang of relatives to see this - I must say, under duress, because I really didn't want to go. There had been some unpleasantness over their unilateral purchasing of some - to my mind - rather overly expensive tickets via the internet - the price of each being more than double what we'd initially agreed we were all willing to spend; this in spite of our already having purchased a bunch of non-refundable tickets for the group upstairs in the balcony, at the previously agreed price of £25 per head.
This palaver - not to mention the six, useless ticket we found ourselves landed with, left me with something of a bad taste in the mouth from the outset. My main purpose in going on the day at all was to ensure that my three-year-old sprog didn't end up under the wheels of a double-decker bus during the group jaunt from Gloucestershire to London; I could see the various (some elderley, some Scottish) relatives being so confounded by the traffic and excitement of being in our nation's capital that without someone to keep a designated sharp-eye out, the day trip was bound to end in tragedy.
It didn't of course, and I was so very, very impressed by 'The Lion King' stage show that I have to say it's about the best musical production I've ever seen - and I have been dragged, by these same relatives to see all sorts of shows in the West End over the years, Andrew Lloyd Webber / Bollywood musicals, 'the King & I' etc. etc. etc.
The 'Lion King' stage show follows exactly the same story as you see in the Disney film. How on earth they would manage to transfer some of the trickier African wildlife scenes to the stage was something I'd wondered about, but in fact the props and sets used were all so ingenious and cleverly thought-out throughout - that it seemed that the tricker the sequence, the more successful was its transfer to live action - this reached its heights during arguably, the most difficult-to-show-on-stage sequence of all - the 'Wildebeest stampede.'
The design of the costumes and the masks used to convey the different animals was really impressive - there were some stunningly beautiful effects (in terms of acting as well as props) used in depicting the background creatures - e.g. the cheetahs and gazelles. The cast (during our matinee showing) were all excellent, with the young actors who played young Simba and Nala (the lion cubs) deserving a special mention for their enthusiasm and skill. The venue (the Lyceum Theatre) is an atmospheric olde-worlde-looking decorated and fitted place; not a huge venue but exactly right for this type of production.
Despite a running time of approx 2 hours (including intermission) our three year old - and her ten year old cousin - were entranced throughout. They could both see quite well from our (better that the balcony option) seats down near the middle / back in the stalls. The play (the first one the young 'un's been to) really held their attention, and despite my initial curmudgeonly misgivings, what can I say - the day trip was a great success.
Summary: Very impressive stage prodution throughout, highly recommended
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