Manchester Theatre News & Reviews
The Lion King extends its run at the Palace Theatre, ManchesterBOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE FOR THE LION KING
The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland and Palace Theatre & Opera House have announced on sale dates for a final three week extension of the musical THE LION KING.
The internationally acclaimed production opened in Manchester on Thursday 27 October and will be running for an astonishing 19 weeks until Saturday 11 March 2023.
After phenomenal demand, with the season selling over 200,000 tickets for initial weeks of performances, more tickets will be released for new performances from Tuesday 21 February to Saturday 11 March.
Robin Hawkes, Theatre Director of the Palace Theatre & Opera House said: “Shows of this spectacular scale create an enormous boost not just to Manchester’s thriving cultural scene but to its tourism and hospitality sectors too. We’re absolutely elated that The Lion King has already generated such phenomenal excitement amongst new and current theatregoers alike, and it’s just fantastic that we’ve been able to add these additional performances which will allow even more people the chance to experience this unforgettable production. It’s not every day you are asked to house 232 puppets for an additional three weeks, but it took no time at all for us to agree!”
The story of THE LION KING leaps into life using spectacular masks, puppets and costumes to tell the story of Simba's epic adventures, as he struggles with the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming king.
Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation of THE LION KING opened on Broadway in 1997 and 25 global productions in nine different languages have been created since then (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese). THE LION KING is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.
The previous tour of THE LION KING broke attendance records across the nation, including at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Since the UK premiere in 1999, THE LION KING London has entertained more than 16 million theatregoers and is the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time.
The stunning artistry of the production is the work of a team of designers which drew on diverse cultural influences to recreate the rich colours and vast expanses of the African savanna in this daring and inspiring reinvention of one of the most successful animated feature films of all time.
Julie Taymor, one of the world’s most innovative directors, brought a vast array of disciplines to THE LION KING, including extensive experience staging epic theatre and opera productions, exploring classic myths through ritualised puppetry, mask, and movement. The Lion King was the first musical Taymor directed in the commercial theatre and she made Broadway history by becoming the first woman to win the Tony Award® for Best Director of a Musical.
The Broadway show’s full creative team, which won five Tony Awards® for its work on THE LION KING, reunited in 1999 to recreate the show in London. Julie Taymor and Michael Curry created hundreds of masks and puppets.
Scenic design is by British designer Richard Hudson and lighting is by Donald Holder. Costume design is by Julie Taymor, and choreography by Garth Fagan. The book was adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated feature and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the screenplay.
The original score from the animated film was expanded for the stage and now features 15 musical numbers. As well as writing completely new songs, South African composer Lebo M created an evocative blend of African rhythms and chorales, with additional material by Julie Taymor and Mark Mancina.
Elton John and Tim Rice have added three new numbers to the five that they wrote for the award-winning score of the animated film. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, including the Academy Award®-winning Can You Feel The Love Tonight and the haunting Shadowland.
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