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
I couldn't believe my eyes!
Member Name: SusanLesley
Date: 21/06/01, updated on 21/06/01 (371 review reads)
Advantages: Superb costumes, Excellent acting, Atmosphere
Disadvantages: Takes a while to get ticjets
If you get the chance to go and see The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre in London, you MUST go.
The Lyceum itself is in the heart of London’s theatre land, best reached from Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Embankment tube stations. It is situated in Wellington Street, which is a couple of minute’s walk from any of the three tube stations mentioned.
It was my partner who wanted to see this musical having seen the film at the cinema. We borrowed the video of the film before we went so that I could see it and get the hang of the story line. I did enjoy the film but I didn't think it would transfer very well to the stage but how wrong I was!
We sat in a box to the left-hand side of the stage. I was surprised to find that the seats in the boxes were actually cheaper than the cost of those in the stalls, but when we got there I could see why. The far left-hand side of the stage was obscured from our view. I have to say that this did not spoil the enjoyment at all as there was always plenty going on across the whole stage and if indeed the whole theatre for that matter!
Let me try and explain. The costumes were unlike anything that I had ever seen before. The actors didn’t just wear them, they became part of them. For example in some cases the actor would be holding the front legs of the animal supported on two sticks in front of him, he would then be wearing the rest of the costume and would walk ‘on all fours’ using the two false legs and his own two. I hope this is making some sense – you’ll just have to go and see it if it doesn’t! The actor would then walk with the same gait as the animal he was representing making the whole thing very lifelike. There were times when it took me a while to work out where the costume ended and the actor began. I know that sounds stupid but believe me it’s true!
The story begins with the young new-born lion cub being presented to th
e rest of the animals. If I hadn’t seen this with my own eyes I would never have believed it. Animals came on to the stage via the two stage wings, and via the two aisles of the main auditorium. Full sized animals made their way to the stage – an elephant (I never did work out how many people were involved in that one!) walked down the aisle of the theatre, giraffes walked across the back of the stage. All the animals in the original film were there and it was a magnificent sight.
The story unfolded and was very true to the film introducing new animals to us as it went along. The hyenas were exceptional and the stampede of buffalo was a very clever arrangement of spinning logs one behind the other with models of buffalo on them getting smaller towards the back of the stage. This gave the effect of the buffalo running towards the front of the stage.
After the interval there we were sat in our box and the door opened and in walked a man wearing a loincloth and carrying a long stick with a model of a bird on the end. There were similar people in each of the boxes and when they swept the birds back and forth it looked as though they were circling over the audience.
As I said at the beginning I could never hope to describe what we saw accurately, as it was so amazing. The animlas were really lifelike and the whole show including the singing dancing etc was perfect.
If you get the chance please go and see it you will not be disappointed I guarantee.
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