If like me you appreciate the magic and pure wonder that Disney movies create you will find it hard to imagine how on earth a masterpiece like the Lion King can be transferred to a stage production. Well be assured it can be done and it is magnificent!
From start to finish I had goose bumps as the characters I know and love came to life in front of me.
The Lyceum Theatre itself is a typical west end venue that could do with a facelift however once the lights go down you don’t notice.
Right from the beginning you feel totally submerged in the setting of the African planes at sunrise as the powerful music echoes in your chest.
The feel of the Pride Land is projected from the stage throughout the performance by the wonderful set which interchanges seamlessly from scene to scene to show not only the setting for the current dialogue but also its mood. From Scars dark plotting with the hyenas to the joyous new world of Simba when he meats Pumbaa and Timon.
The characters reflect the movie perfectly through their appearance and voice showing the thought that has gone into every aspect of the production right from the casting.
The costumes have been created in such a way that they portray the characters with depth using what they physically are (Lion, Warthog) what they are inside (powerful, evil) and where their character has been formed using African crafts, colours and materials. The majesty and power and power of Mufasa is there for all to see but when needed the kind caring Dad is shown this is achieved by the costumes being a mix between attire and props that the actors can use to aid their expressions.
For those of you who have not seen the Disney film it may actually be an even better experience as you will be pulled along by the particulars of the tale as well as the atmosphere it creates.
I have been to see my fair share of the bigger theatre productions (Oliver, Miss Saigon and Beauty and the Beast to name a few) but to me this is the one that has it all and makes you feel that you were in fact involved in something amazing not just a spectator.
In my opinion it is worth paying the extra on the ticket price to get seats downstairs in the centre of the front block (or as near as possible) for the optimum experience but you will love it no matter where you sit, and don’t be late you do not want to miss the opening number!