Having seen an extensive number of West End shows it is more than difficult to mark one as my most memorable. Wicked, Shrek, Matilda, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Legally Blonde, Chicago, Mamma Mia! – none of which failed to deliver – are amongst the list for me to choose from. But it is safe to say after having seen it three times and currently planning a fourth visit, The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre is by far my most memorable West End show.
So what is it about The Lion King that makes it stand out from the rest? From beginning to end the atmosphere was truly magical and I was left wishing the end would never come. The performance made outstanding use of props, set and costumes, which allowed an enchanting ambiance to be captured. This combination was indescribable and irrespective of it being performed in front of my very eyes, I frequently had to look twice to reassure myself that it was in fact a reality. The cleverly designed costumes created an animal kingdom from giraffes to wildebeest and within the blink of an eye the Lyceum Theatre was transformed into a typical scene from the Serengeti Plains.
Admittedly I had not seen The Lion King film before watching the West End performance and although this may be hard to believe it was simply a case of a film that I had not had chance to watch! However, this was not a problem when watching the stage performance as the story was presented with clarity and at no point was I left feeling confused due to any gaps in my knowledge. The performance was sensational and despite one moment of sadness when Simba’s father, Mufasa, is killed in a stampede of wildebeest, the show provided several moments of comedy. A particular moment that has stuck in my mind was when Timon and Pumbaa, a comical meerkat and warthog, took to the stage and after several jokes they sung ‘Hakuna Matata’… who could resist singing along!
If you are yet to see The Lion King at London’s West End be sure to make it part of your next trip! It is sure to be an explosion of magic and colour with the feel-good factor that can be enjoyed by all the family.
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