Fit for a king
We all know the Lion King right? Well, maybe you saw the movie and heard the songs by Tim Rice and Elton John for sure. Well, this week the stage musical and all its Disney stage magnificence came to the Edinburgh Playhouse and on the night, I was there, not a seat to be had. I would say get a ticket or better still take the family because until you experience the live theatre you will not believe it in terms of scale and accepting the animals talking on stage.
Firstly, the background. Well first there was the Disney animation film of 1994 then the upgraded remake in 2019 with a budget of $250million. But wait the box office took a reported $1.663billion which takes the franchise to a whole new world (get it?). This led to a television sequel, video games, merchandise heaven and the stage musical where we come in. The stage version is the third longest running on Broadway with six Tony Awards including Best Musical and grossed over $1billion at the box office. The touring company has had over 100 million in audiences.
The story is simple and easy to follow but the diversion characters steal the show Pumbaa is a warthog played with great comedy by Carl Sanderson and Timon is a male meerkat played with flamboyance by Alan McHale. Then there’s Zazu a male hornbill played to a believable degree by Matthew Forbes. The lead parts of Scar (Richard Hurst), Mufusa (Jean-lac Guizonne) and Rafiki (Thandazile Soni) are played energetically and special mention too to the young cast who, on my night were Cordell Munyawiri as young Simba and Lauren Simpe-Asante as young Nala.
The opening sequence in a capacity theatre brought a tear to my eye and recognising the wonderful soundtrack performed live like Circle Of Life, Be Prepared, I Just Can’t Wait To Be King and of course Can You Feel The Love Tonight. Go see it and enjoy and savour the quality of Disney merchandise from key rings, magnets, brochures, towels, tote bags (at just £5) and plush Simba at £12.
Edinburgh Playhouse until July 2nd, tickets HERE