It’s been confirmed that a new bio-musical about the rise to fame of the Bee Gees is in the works, and could be eyeing a place in the West End.
Universal Theatrical Group is the team behind...
The musical is set to celebrate its 15th anniversary in London's West End on Sunday 19th October with a gala performance, for which 1500 free tickets were given away. It has been seen by over 12 million theatregoers, playing to around 810,000 guests each year, and recently announced that its worldwide gross exceeds that of any film or entertainment title in box office history.
The Lion King opened in the West End's Lyceum Theatre on 19 Oct 1999, following previews from 24 Sep 1999, to good notices from the popular press. It is currently the sixth longest running musical in West End history, and recently embarked on its first UK tour, which has been seen by over 1.8 million people. To date the show has played 19 countries on every continent except Antarctica.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson released a statement congratulating the production, saying:
"The Lion King's long-run has contributed to the phenomenal success of London Theatre-land. From the bright lights of the West End, to the dozens of smaller theatres to be found across the city, it's a hugely important sector for our economy, generating more than £600 million last year and underlining London's status as one of the world's greatest cities for culture."
The Lion King has a book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, with additional songs by Lebo M, Julie Taymor, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. It is directed by Julie Taymor, designed by Richard Hudson, lighting by Donald Holder with choreography by Garth Fagan.
Based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name, the musical follows the young lion prince Simba, whose birth results in his evil uncle Scar being pushed back to second in line to the throne. Scar plots to kill both Simba and his father, Mufasa, and proclaim himself king. Simba survives but is led to believe that his father died because of him and he decides to flee the kingdom.
Disney Theatricals have also announced that in January 2015 they will release licensed school versions of the show exclusively for primary and secondary schools. These 30-minute and 70-minute versions of the show are accompanied by resource materials to help teachers and students learn about stagecraft and performance.