This weekend as a treat for a friend Gemma, me, my partner and her partner arranged a trip to London to see The Lion King. She has wanted to see the show for a very long time and I thought it would be a nice way to spend some quality time together doing something fun before her wedding in May.
We decided to see the matinee performance on Saturday 30th March. We managed to keep the show a surprise for quite some time. The whole planning stage was successful, she had no idea what was going on. Gemma was told by her fiancé that they were going for a surprise day out. She still had no idea and when they met us at the train station she was still none the wiser. All good so far! I got everyone as far as Covent Garden before she realised where we might be going (as at this point the tube station was plastered with posters for it so she had an idea it might be for the show).
I’m not a theatre regular by any means, I have only been to three other shows before, these were Oliver, Lord of the Rings and Wicked. They were all pretty incredible for the bar was set high. Of course as you all know I’m not a newbie when it comes to shows to entertain though in terms of comedy, burlesque and cabaret so again, high expectations for a West End show to deliver.
I did speculate how the show would be out together, how the scenery may work and of course how they will turn an animated film of animals come to life by people on stage. I was a bit unsure that the show wouldn’t be able to pull it off, but then again I thought the same about how Lord of the Rings stage show would work and that was amazing. I watched the film The Lion King the night before in preparation, I hadn’t watched in years, familiarised myself again with the story, the songs, scenes etc. I do love that film!
The theatre itself was really impressive huge building outside and lovely inside. Like all theatres it was very expensive for merchandise. I still bought a magnet as I collect them from every country we visit and every major show or day out to remember it. We bought food and drink outside the theatre and took it in as the prices are very high inside.
The opening to the show was as I expected, huge, over the top and incredible, but it has to be! It is brilliant in the film and starts with the opening and very famous song everyone knows so it had to be elaborate. A lot of the story was well followed, some new songs added and whole new pieces put in too. The cast at times came on to the stage through the audience too which was different.
I thought the way the animals were portrayed using masks, puppets and striking costumes was incredible to tell the story of young Simba's epic adventures as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming king.
With a cast of over 40 actors, singers and dancers the show really does bring the hugely famous animated film to life. Everything from the 3D stage, the vibrant colours, vast expanses of the African savanna, lighting, costumes etc all together bring a truly amazing show for all the family.
Overall I thought it was done really well. I thought the children who played the young Simba and Nala were great. In fact all the cast were great! I highly recommend to anyone interested in going.