Photo credit: Kayi Ushe (Photo by James Everett)

Kayi Ushe to play Simba in ‘The Lion King’, returning to the Lyceum Theatre

The "Circle of Life" continues in the West End.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Ahead of The Lion King reopening this summer, the full cast has been announced. Kayi Ushe will play Simba in The Lion King, with performances at the Lyceum Theatre from 29 July and The Lion King tickets on sale now.

Ushe returns to the West End, previously playing Marvin Gaye in Motown the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre and in the original London cast of The Book of Mormon. He's also played Lola in a national tour of Kinky Boots.

Principal casting includes George Asprey as Scar, Phil Adèle as Ed, David Blake as Banzai, Janique Charles as Nala, Thenjiwe Thendiva Nofemele as Rafiki, Shaun Escoffery as Mufasa, Gary Jordan as Zazu, Jamie McGregor as Timon, Melone M'Kenzy as Shenzi and Mark Roper as Pumbaa.

Ensemble casting is completed by Etian A Almeida, Thanduxolo Booi, Gesztenye Botos, Gabriel Brasilio, Donna Clovis, Reece Darlington-Delaire, Azola Dlamini, Kuan Frye, Kevin Fullinck, Shak Gabbidon-Williams, Sandile Gontsana, Ryesha Higgs, Du-Wayne Hinds, Candice Holdford, Angela Marie Hurst, Garry Lake, Duane Lamonte, Tramaine Lamy, Lamoi Leon, Jane Carla Leynes, Deja Linton, Francisco Lins, Stephanie Lo, Jonathan Lutwyche, Nonhlanhla Makhathini, Sadia McEwen, Kearabetswe Mogotsi, Mkhize Phumlane Jones, Keitumetse Molea, Nosipho Nkonqa, Poselesto Sejosingoe-Madela, Mlungsi Shabalala, Kristof Skhosana, Luciano Santos Souza, Shannon Taiwo, Barnaby Thompson and Taela Yeomans-Brown.

Based on the Disney animated film, The Lion King follows Simba as he becomes King of the Pride Lands. It's set to an acclaimed score with songs including "I Just Can't Wait to be King" and "Hakuna Matata".

When The Lion King reopens, it'll be one of three Disney musicals in the West End, joining Frozen and Mary Poppins. Nationwide, tours of Beauty and the Beast and Bedknobs and Broomsticks will also begin in 2021.

The Lion King is at the Lyceum Theatre from 29 July.

The Lion King tickets are on sale now.

Photo credit: Kayi Ushe (Photo by James Everett)

Originally published on

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