It's been fifteen years almost to the week that I first saw Disney's The Lion King in what was its first year in the West End. I don't think even Disney could have predicted that sixteen years later the show would still be London's most popular musical, selling out performances eight times a week and playing to packed crowds. Judging the show against the current climate of the West End, I worried some of the magic may have faded, but Julie Taymor's staging and costume design remains... Read more
Walt Disney's long-running and multi-award winning The Lion King musical continues to delight audiences in London's West End. After opening on Broadway in 1997, the show has gone on to be the most successful piece of entertainment in history, mounting numerous world-wide productions including the original London production at the Lyceum Theatre in the heart of the West End.
Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney's The Lion King musical is unlike anything ever before seen in musical theatre, and will redefine your expectations of what theatre can be. Director and designer Julie Taymor crafts a colourful, imaginative and highly creative world that brings the flora, fauna and animals of Africa to live, set against a timeless score by Elton John and Tim Rice, with additional songs by Lebo M, Julie Taymor, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.
Thousands continue to pack the Lyceum Theatre every week with their Lion King tickets to celebrate and revel in the majestic storytelling that transports audiences to a dazzling world that explodes with glorious colours, stunning effects and enchanting music. The Lion King began previews in the West End on 24th September 1999, with an official opening on 19th October 1999.
The production currently stars New Zealander Nicholas Afoa who makes his West End debut in the role of Simba, reprising his performance from the Australian production. Read our interview with Nicholas Afoa to find out more about his experience with the show.
The song list for the London production includes:
- "Circle of Life"
- "Grasslands Chant"
- "The Lioness Hunt"
- "I Just Can't Wait to Be King"
- "They Live in You", "Be Prepared"
- "The Stampede"
- "Rafiki Mourns"
- "Hakuna Matata"
- "One by One"
- "The Madness of King Scar"
- "Endless Night"
- "Can You Feel the Love Tonight"
- "He Lives in You (Reprise)"
- "Simba Confronts Scar"
- "King of Pride Rock/Circle of Life (Reprise)"
Book your The Lion King tickets, playing at the Lyceum Theatre, London.
Want to browse for more musicals? Check out our guide to the top 10 musicals in London.
Based on the hit 1994 Walt Disney animated film of the same name, The Lion King musical is set in the African Pridelands and tells the coming of age story of lion cub Simba. Introduced to the animal kingdom as the heir to Pride Rock by his father Mufasa, Simba's birth has unsettled his Uncle Scar who finds himself relegated down the line of succession, and he plots along with his hyenas to kill both Mufasa and Simba in order for him to become King.
As Simba grows up and begins to test the boundaries, Mufasa teaches him about the circle of life and their place within the ecosystem. Tricked by Scar, Simba watches helplessly as his father is killed in a stampede. He is persuaded that the accident is his fault, and to run away leaving his friends and family behind. As Scar becomes King of Pride Rock, Simba grows up in the jungle, but his past soon catches up with him and he's finally forced to face his destiny.