Earlier this week, the Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland announced that the theatrical production of Disney’s The Lion King is set to reopen in the West End on 29th July 2021. The production will be raising the curtain at Lyceum Theatre once again, the same place it has been performed for the past two decades. The production has dazzled over 16 million people since it began in 1999.
The news is sure to be met with excitement from the musical theatre community, in a year when the future of the art form looked to be in serious jeopardy.
Tickets will once again be on sale from noon on Wednesday 31st March. West End patrons will be able to sign up for pre-sale from 10am, Monday 29th March.
Since Julie Taymor’s celebrated production premiered on Broadway in 1997, The Lion King has captured the hearts of over 100 million audience members in 25 global productions. To this day, it remains the single most lucrative stage production in West End history. It is also the sixth longest-running musical to grace London theatres.
The cast boasts over 50 actors and performers, all of whom are excited to grace the boards of the Lyceum stage once again. Shaun Escoffer (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.”
For those unfamiliar with the theatrical interpretation of the 1993 Disney movie, The Lion King utilises stunning masks and ingenious puppetry to bring the story of Simba to life. The musical charts his journey from a young cub to reclaiming his throne as King of the Pridelands, making beloved friends and thwarting enemies in the process. With music written by Tim Rice and Elton John, The Lion King has captured audience’s imaginations like few other productions.
The plans to return to the Lyceum Theatre have been made in adherence to the Government’s latest COVID advice. This means that the opening date of 29 July 2021 could change depending on the latest social distancing guidelines in place at the time.
The live entertainment industry is working alongside health professionals to ensure the safety of performers, crews and audience members, though the signs are looking positive there will be a return to normality for The Lion King and British musical theatre in the near future.