Then, ‘The Lion King’ should definitely be one of your top options!
We recently took our EP London students to watch ‘The Lion King’ musical at the Lyceum Theatre in London, and we loved it! And this is why.
How is the musical different from the film?
There are probably very few people in the world who don’t know the story of Simba and his journey from childhood to adulthood. We have all seen the scene where a newborn Simba is presented to the animal kingdom and lifted to the sky by his father Mufasa, the King. We have sung along to Hakuna Matata together with the lively duo, Timon and Pumba. We cannot deny that we have all shed a tear (some of us maybe more than one) at the death of Mufasa by the hands (or paws) of his evil brother Scar.
Well then, you might be thinking, if I already know the plot, why should I go to watch the musical? For the experience! You will be blown away by the costumes, the music, the performance and even by the design of the set itself!
How do they recreate the characters?
No real animals are used in the production of the show. The performers all wear masks and impressive costumes to look like the animal they are representing. Each mask is designed in such a way that even if you are sitting far away from the stage you can clearly see the features of the different characters. There are over 350 complete costumes in the show, but one of my personal favourites is the giraffe costume. The two 5.5 metres giraffes are the tallest animals in the show. Each actor is on 4 stilts and wearing a tall headpiece which forms the neck and head of the animal. This leaves the actors’ faces free to be able to sing.
How do they recreate the African savannah?
As we know from the film, there are a variety of different locations in ‘The Lion King’, including Pride Rock, the grasslands, the Elephant Graveyard, the jungle, the gorge where the stampede occurs and the waterhole. In live theatre, they use different levels and costumes to create these different scenes. Our favourite was when some of the performers wore costumes that made them look like grass!
When can I go to watch the show?
If this blog has spiked your interest and you are planning on going to watch the show, you should definitely book tickets in advance. Although this show has been playing at the Lyceum Theatre in London for 21 years, every evening the theatre is filled with people of all ages. This show is for everyone! Whether you are watching it for the first time or have already seen it a couple of times, you will never get bored of being transported right into the depths of the African savannah by the performance, colours and the sounds of this amazing production!
lively (adj) – full of life and energy
to shed a tear (exp) – to cry
costumes (n) – special clothes you wear to look like someone or something else
the plot (n) – what happens in a film or a book, the story
to be blown away by something (pv) – to think something is amazing or incredible
a mask (n) – something you wear over your face to change your appearance
stilts (n) – metal or wood poles which you stand on to make yourself taller
to spike someone’s interest (idiomatic expression) – to get someone’s attention and to make them interested