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
The Leopards are in a bit of a spot and the Baboons are going ape over this!
Member Name: carl_lazarevic
Date: 14/02/13, updated on 14/02/13 (25 review reads)
Advantages: A huge spectacle!
Disadvantages: One of the children felt a little awkward,
This week Vicky and I made a trip into London to watch The Lion King live at the Lyceum theatre. I had been intending to see this for a long time as I had heard nothing but positive feedback and love the story of the film.
You should know the story by now. Simba is a young Lion cub whose father Muffassa rules their jungle home. Sinister uncle Scar is none too happy to meet the new heir and wants to usurp the throne himself. Before Simba can mature enough to thwart his uncle's shenanigans he must enjoy a life lesson in chilling out from the charismatic duo Timon and Pumbaa, and rediscover the hidden king inside himself.
However seeing the Lion King live at the theatre is a far grander experience than watching an animated film on the TV. The African dance choreography was already spectacular in itself, yet it's made all the more impressive by the fact that the dancers are simultaneously controlling the animal creations they wear. Each of the Lions at the centre of the story are portrayed by the actors themselves, but all other animals are brought to life by the puppetry skill of the actors inside the costumes. This ranges from something as simple as actors balancing on four stilts to play a Giraffe, to actors who must manipulate all four limbs to animate the Hyena costume that they wear. There's even time for a life sized elephant to march past you!
Leading all of these actors in song was the supremely talented Brown Lindiwe Mkhize. Her African vocals added life and vitality to the soundtrack, and enlivened the most popular Elton John songs from the film. The other actors follow her lead nicely to add real emotional resonance to the play. I would like to give particular credit to the young Melina M'poy (Young Nala) whose beautiful voice felt way ahead of her tender young age.
Sadly the same can't be said for the young Jonathan Hume whose awkward performance as the young Simba betrayed his youthful age. Thankfully he was the shows one slight ruffle. All of the other actors were fantastic; with George Asprey's sinister turn as scar being a particular highlight. Fans of the film will no doubt be pleased to hear that Damian Baldet gives a hilarious performance as Timon, and plays off very well against Keith Bookman's Pumbaa.
In conclusion, The Lion King makes for an amazing day out for all involved. The bold African song and dance numbers will keep the parents entertained, while the stunning animal costumes will keep the kids occupied. There are some stunning visual effects that keep the imagination ticking over and the story is as wonderfully told as it has ever been. A highly recommended play!
Summary: The Lion King makes for an amazing day out for all involved.