Sunday, 8 June 2014

Theatre Review: The Lion King!

So I saw The Lion King musical last night and it was literally everything I could've ever wished for. The original film has always been my favourite of all time and it has been one of my dreams to see it in the theatre. 

Produced by Disney Theatrical, it is based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name with music by Elton John and lyrics provided by Tim Rice alongside the incredible, dramatic soundtrack created by Hans Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M. Directed by Julie Taymor, the musical has the actors suited up in various animal costumes in conjunction with giant, hollow puppets which were absolutely astounding to see. It is Broadway's fourth longest-running show in history (still running after more than 6,700 shows!) and the highest growing Broadway production of all time, having gross more than $1 billion.

If you don't know already, it is about a young, cocky cub called Simba who is desperate to be like his father, Mufasa, the king. However, Mufasa's brother and Simba's uncle Scar is jealous and resentful of his brother being the king.. and in time, succeeds in murdering Mufasa. Having failed to kill Simba too, he fools the young lion into believing that he is responsible for his father's demise thus making him flee into exile in despair and misery. In his isolation, two friendly characters called Timon (a meerkat) and Pumbaa (a warthog) befriend him and help him learn and grow in his new world. When he becomes a majestic, mature lion his childhood friend Nala finds him and gives him some valuable perspective that makes him rethink about returning to Pride Rock. With a push from his shaman Rafiki, a spiritual baboon, he returns to Pride Rock to challenge Scar and end his tyranny.

The film is full of vibrant, brilliant songs such as; Hakuna Matata, Circle of Life, Can You Feel The Love Tonight? Throughout the years they have won and been nominated for many awards. Elton John's Can You Feel The Love Tonight? won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe while Circle of Life and Hakuna Matata were nominated for both. Hans Zimmer's impressive score earned him an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA nomination.

The musical was absolutely fantastic. They followed the entire script from the film completely with a few changes and a few new songs introduced. The music really uplifted you and really brought home the emotion for certain poignant scenes. Some even brought a tear to my eye just because of how fantastic it was. The actors who played Scar, Timon and Pumbaa scarily sounded exactly like the characters from the film! It all flowed perfectly and you found yourself singing, clapping and tapping along. 

I would not advise you to miss this for anything. Even if you have never seen the film, this is definitely a musical you should put on your to-do list! One of my dreams came true as I have always wanted to see it live on a stage and I go to do so in the prestigious Empire Theatre in Liverpool. It is a night I will always remember. I hope you liked my review and please leave a comment on what you thought of the musical or what you thought of my review.

Thankyou for reading.

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