The Lion King
until November 17
To book, visit www.thelionking.co.uk
or call 0844 871 3033
IT’S about 10 years since I first experienced the dazzling spectacle that is The Lion King at London’s Lyceum Theatre.
It was astounding. Colourful, inventive, dynamic – and with a couple of great songs that brought a lump to the throat.
It’s now on tour – and it’s lost none of its lustre over the years.
The official opening at the Hippodrome – which has been closed for the past eight weeks while it was transformed for the show – was just as dramatic.
The story of the young lion who grows up to be king despite the machinations of his evil uncle is brought to life with masks, costumes and special effects. The end result is stunning.
But it’s the cast which makes the show and while every performance is superb, inevitably some stand out.
Gugwana Dlamini makes a wonderful Rafiki, great voice and totally charismatic. Carole Stennett is effervescent as Nala and John Hasler and Mark Roper (Timon and Pumbaa) steal the show pretty much every time they hit the stage.
Special mention to Swindon-born Stephen Carlile who brings a whimsical campness to the Machiavellian Scar – and Shenzi, leader of the scavenging hyena pack – is marvellously portrayed by Nigerian actress Gbemisola Ikumelo.
If you’ve never seen it – or even if you have – don’t miss this production at the Hippodrome. It’s on until November 17 and then it’s off to wow the crowds at the Manchester Palace.
- PAULINE LEIGHTON