The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland has announced that London’s landmark musical, DISNEY’S THE LION KING will reopen in the West End on 29th July 2021. THE LION KING returns to the Lyceum Theatre, its London home for more than two decades, where the production has been seen by over 16 million people.
Tickets will go on sale at noon on Wednesday 31st March at www.thelionking.co.uk and patrons can sign up for access to a pre-sale from 10am, Monday 29th March.
Since the premiere of Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation on Broadway in 1997, THE LION KING has entertained more than 100 million theatregoers in 25 productions worldwide. When the show closed its doors on Sunday 15th March 2020 it was the West End’s best-selling stage production and the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time.
The London cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers are thrilled to return to the Lyceum stage. Shaun Escoffery who plays Mufasa said: “We are so excited to finally have a date that we will be able to perform for audiences again. At THE LION KING we have always considered ourselves to be one big family, and to be coming back together after being separated for so long will be a truly happy moment. We cannot wait to be back on stage. When the opening bars of Circle of Life play out, I don’t believe there will be a dry eye anywhere in the theatre.”
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, THE LION KING has made theatrical history with six productions worldwide running 15 or more years. The musical uses breathtaking masks and puppetry to create pure theatrical magic. At its heart is the powerful and moving story of Simba – the epic adventure of his journey from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands.
Plans to reopen THE LION KING at the Lyceum Theatre on 29 July 2021 have been made in accordance with the Government’s latest directives, are therefore subject to change and are made on the understanding that social distancing guidelines will be withdrawn to allow full capacity audiences. The live entertainment industry continues to seek support for contingency insurance to be made available in the event of any further unscheduled closures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
About The Lion King
THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony Awards®: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical. THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.
The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success. The first woman to win a Tony Award® for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s songs from THE LION KING animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from “Rhythm of the Pride Lands,” an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.”
The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed THE LION KING animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay. Other members of the creative team include: Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor) and Jill Green Casting CDG (UK Tour casting). Anne Quart serves as co-producer.
About Disney Theatrical Productions
Disney Theatrical Productions (DTP), a division of The Walt Disney Studios, was formed in 1994 and operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher. Worldwide, its ten Broadway titles have been seen by over 200 million theatregoers, and have been nominated for 62 Tony Awards, winning Broadway’s highest honour 20 times. At the time of the pandemic shutdown in March 2020, with 20 productions self-produced or licensed, a Disney musical was being performed professionally somewhere on the planet virtually every hour of the day.