The Lion King
Lyceum Theatre, London
Reviewed by Karen Curson
On Saturday April 13at 2pm, we arrived at the Lyceum Theatre on the banks of the Thames in London, eager to watch Disney’s The Lion King, which was due to start at 2.30pm. As this was our daughters' first West End show, our expectations were high and we really wanted it to be something they would remember always.
On arrival, we were greeted by friendly, helpful staff who directed us to the area we needed to head for. We spotted the merchandise shop on the top of the steps ahead of us, so bought a programme from the attendant and headed to have a look in the shop. There was a beautiful costume of Rafiki at the front and the merchandise was all in the theme of the show rather than the Disney film, which made it all the more unique.
We then headed for the obligatory toilet stop before the show started. The toilets were clean, and smelled fresh (unlike most public toilets).
As we sat waiting for the show to start, we could hear, tribal drums and animal sounds. When we looked up, in two of the boxes were a variety of African drums and instruments, which gave a really nice feel to start with.
Now, to the important part, the show. It was nothing short of breath-taking! The story and majority of the dialogue followed suit with the animated film, but the real point of difference was the style of the show. This was presented in a traditional African tribal way.
The show started in a phenomenal parade of animals down the aisles of the stalls. The costumes of these animals were extremely clever and innovative, and it was very obvious from the start that a lot of effort and thought had gone into the wardrobe design. As the animals paraded to the stage, alongside the powerful music, and the excited noises from the audience, we knew immediately this was going to be an amazing show. We were not disappointed.
Throughout the show, the audience were treated from one jaw dropping set piece to another. The cast were outstanding and kept us all captivated with their performances and spine tingling harmonic singing, which was often accapella.
This show is suitable for all ages as children will be familiar with the characters and music, whilst grownups will appreciate the quality of performance and the jokes which go over the heads of the younger members of the audience.
If I had to give a negative, it is that ticket prices are a bit more expensive than your average West End show, BUT, in saying that, we feel it was worth every single penny to see the looks on our spellbound children’s faces.
Marks out of 5: 5 (we'd give it 10 if we could).
For more information or to book tickets visit www.lyceum-theatre.co.uk