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Lion King: roaring success heads South West

By LeeTrewhela  |  Posted: January 20, 2014

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DISNEY’S worldwide theatrical phenomenon The Lion King is set to arrive in Plymouth on Thursday, January 30, for a seven-week run, ending on March 15, as part of the show’s record-breaking tour of the UK and Ireland.

Disney’s The Lion King is based on the beloved Academy award-winning animated film which was entrusted to director and co-designer Julie Taymor to adapt the film for the stage.

She brought a vast array of disciplines to Disney’s The Lion King which draws upon her immeasurable experience of various theatrical styles and cultures to tell the compelling tale of Simba, the young lion cub, as he journeys through life and struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destined role of king.

Four years in the making, this truly international production brings together a cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers, from 17 different countries, supported by a backstage team of over 100 people. The touring production is the biggest musical production ever to tour the UK. With hundreds of masks, puppets and more than 700 elaborate costumes representing 26 different types of animal, 21 giant trucks are used to transport everything across the country. In total, the touring production will visit ten cities across the UK and Ireland over two and a half years, with further dates and locations to be announced.

Stephen Crocker, director of marketing and creative for the Disney Theatrical Group, told What’s On: “We want audiences in the South West to know that what you see will be the equal of the West End experience. We didn’t want to shrink it down or present a potted version. Obviously, this meant figuring out the logistics of staging it at the Theatre Royal as it’s not the biggest theatre in the country, but we’ve done it.

“Every single element looks and sounds unlike anything you will have seen in the theatre before.”

The acclaimed stage adaptation of Disney’s 1994 film was first seen on Broadway in 1997, where it recently became the highest grossing show in Broadway history.

The production has now been seen by over 68 million people across six continents and the acclaimed West End production continues to sell out at London’s Lyceum Theatre in its 15th triumphant year.

In addition to the record-breaking productions in London and New York, Disney’s The Lion King can currently be seen in Tokyo, Hamburg, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Brazil and on tour in the US, UK and Japan. The production opened in Sydney in December.

To date, this new touring production has enjoyed sell-out, record-breaking seasons in Bristol, Manchester, Dublin and Birmingham and is in its last few weeks at Edinburgh before opening in the South West.

Both audiences and critics have embraced Disney’s The Lion King, giving it rave reviews and standing ovations.

Tickets are priced from £28.20 to £60.70, which includes a 70p booking fee, and can be booked online at www.theatreroyal.com or by calling the Theatre Royal Plymouth box office on 01752 267222.

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