On a recent trip to London, I went to see the amazing stage performance of The Lion King. The show completely blew me away with the fantastic puppetry and wonderful songs. The musical was staged in the Lyceum theatre in the fashionable laid back area of Covent Garden London. There has been a theatre by the name of the Lyceum in London since 1765, but the building that we call the Lyceum today was built in 1834.
The theatre is very beautiful and is a typical West End theatre in its design, bright lights, tiles and marble floors. The theatre can hold 2000 people and before a performance the area of Wellington Street, where the theatre is located is buzzing with people. There is the stage bar next door where you can enjoy a pre theatre drink in a typically styled English pub and a number of restaurants and cafes that offer pre show deals.
On entering the theatre, you enter into a great foyer with a grand staircase leading to the Upper Circle. In the foyer there is always many people milling around and I enjoy the buzz and excitement that enraptures the place before the show begins. The box office is located in the foyer along with the confectionary stands. A bag of m&m's could set you back a pretty penny here though!
The design of the theatre is so; on the bottom floor is the stage and the Stalls, the second floor holds the Royal circle and the top floor holds the Grand circle. The pricier tickets are for the Stalls and full price you can pay around £80- £90. There is a great range of viewing wherever you are sat in the theatre hall though and equally the sound is carried beautifully around.
*Are you sitting comfortably?*
The seats are small but cosy, where the rows are tightly compact but there is enough leg room to not get cramp during the performance. The hall itself is magnificent with fantastic paintings on the ceiling, carvings and decorations. The stage is dramatically surrounded by a garish gold frame with the dramatic red curtain in the centre. I always get a stir of excitement when I look at the red curtain. I just love going to see a good show at the theatre.
The bar is pleasant and again is filled with anticipation and excitement. I ordered two glasses of wine, which came out of those tiny 175ml bottles. The choice being, "white," "red" or "rose." The price of one of the bottles was £4.50. Absolutely extortionate! If you want to, you can order your drinks for the interval at the bar before the show starts; this way you can avoid queuing.
The toilets are clean but a bit cramped. There is a few though, so the queue does go down fairly quickly.
I have been to a few of the West End theatres and although this is not my favourite, it is a great little theatre and I like the location of it; Covent Garden is a great place to have dinner and a mosey round. The show I saw though will stay with a long time as I was really taken with it. I'm not much of a Disney fan but this really took my breath away and the price I paid for the tickets was completely justified. I found myself desperately not wanting the show to end! But as all good things do; it had to. The Lyceum theatre is a pleasure to visit but it was the outstanding performance that won the night over. I would go back to the theatre, but moreover I would like to see the Lion King again.