Stagey Selects: The Lion King

Anna Fiorentini 23 Jul 2021

Stagey Selects: The Lion King

Welcome to our series of blogs called Stagey Selects, where we will take a deep dive into our favourite musicals and shows from the stage. We’ll take a look at the history of the show as well as some fun trivia. This week is all about The Lion King musical.

Based on the 1994 Disney animated movie of the same name, The Lion King follows the moving and epic story of Simba as he transforms from a naïve lion cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands. But trouble ensues when Simba’s uncle Scar launches his own bid for the kingdom, going to unimaginable and shocking lengths to claw his way to the throne.

The production opened on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre in November 1997. Following its success there, the show opened in the West End at the Lyceum Theatre in October 1999.

Check out our other blog: Stagey Selects: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical

Here is some exciting theatre trivia for the show:

  • It has been running at London’s Lyceum Theatre for over 20 years, making it the sixth-longest-running show in the West End. 
  • The story was influenced by the Biblical stories of Joseph and Moses and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
  • 232 puppets are used in one performance of the show. The giraffe puppets measure 18 feet, and the elephants are 13 feet. 
  • The music is by one of Britain’s most popular musicians of all time, Elton John. The lyrics are by Tim Rice, whose other credits include Evita and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
  • It took a total of 37,000 hours to build all the props for the show. 
  • There are six African languages used in the show. These are Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana, and Congolese.
  • The musical has won many awards, including Best Musical at the Tony Awards and Best Costume Design at the Olivier Awards.
  • The production has played in over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica. 
  • The actor George Asprey has been playing Scar since April 2008.
  • Mufasa’s mane is constructed using a circular shape; this represents ‘goodness’ and reflects the circle of life. Whereas Scar’s mane is jagged as his actions disrupt the circle of life.
We can’t wait to return to the Pridelands and hear the audiences roar!

So if you love your musical theatre and the performing arts, we offer a range of weekend and after-school classes where this passion is nurtured and encouraged. Click here to find out more. And if you join us for the next term at the Hackney, Docklands or Greenwich branches, you’ll have the opportunity to perform in one of our spectacular Showcases!

And we are also running a Musical Theatre Summer School next week and at the end of August. It’s not too late to book your place – click here to book now.

We strongly believe that participating in the performing arts can greatly improve your child’s self-esteem alongside teaching other transferable life-skills. We also believe that access to the performing arts should be available to all. That is why we have a Bursary Scheme to allow children and young people, no matter their background or financial situation, the opportunity to get free and part-funded places at our school. Please click here to apply for the Bursary Scheme.

Share this article

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.