Well over a year ago, we booked our tickets to see the breathtaking The Lion King show when it finally made its way in The Liverpool Empire theatre. Some people think I’m crazy for booking theatre tickets so far in advance but for a show like this, there is no such thing as a too advanced booking! The only problem I had was having to then wait so long for show night!
The show is full of energy from start to finish, with dancers bouncing around on and off stage, belting out huge numbers and working these huge mechanical animals. It’s an intense spectacle from start to finish, you’ll be on the edge of your seat and singing along, that’s for sure!
So, if for some really obscure reason, like maybe you’re from a different planet (hello!) and you don’t know what The Lion King musical is about…it’s the reproduction of the all time Disney animated classic, brought to life on stage that has been performed for close to 15 years if not more! It follows the tale of Simba, an energetic head strong little lion cub who for tear-inducing reasons has to leave his pride and go off on a coming of age adventure. There’s singing. It’s awesome. I cried. Twice.
I was lucky enough to actually see The Lion King on its original stage at the Lyceum in London when I was 11 so I was keen to see not only what I remembered, but what they’d changed over the years and just how the heck they where going to recreate the infamous Pride Rock in the Empires stage?
I went along with my family for Mum an Dads anniversary outing for the Saturday evening show. Our seats were 3 rows from the front! Smack bang front and centre! Well done Dad on selecting the seats! We held our breath as the lights went down and the entire theatre was transported to the heart of the African Savannah.
The show opened, much like the original film, with Circle of Life. Nobody in the theatre knew where to look, there was something happening everywhere. On stage, up in the boxes, in between the aisles, even above our heads, ‘animals’ where making their way to the stage, upon which my questions about Pride Rock here being answered. From what I can remember, the original Pride Rock in the Lyceum rose out from under the stage but they couldn’t very well go digging up the foundations of the Empire to do the same thing. What they did do, however, was pretty damn impressive. Pride Rock was built before my eyes, swirling onto the stage and slowly transforming, growing in grandeur until it reached its peak. It looked phenomenal!
My favourite scenes had to be those in the elephant graveyard, they hyenas were outstanding and hysterical! The lioness hunt was so well choreographed too, the synchronicity was mesmerizing. When they went ahead and created Mufasas face in the stars, I had tears in my eyes.
As for the music, anything that involves Elton John is always going to be a winner in my books. The cast had the most amazing voices, especially the little kids playing young Simba and young Nala! They did a fantastic job! The only thing that let me down slightly was the lack of audience participation. OK, it’s the theatre, it’s very proper and what not, but how can that many people not sing a long to Hakuna Matata?? I mean I did…just you know…quietly.
I knew the show was going to be good, amazing even, but it was so much more than that! Part of me wishes I’d bought another set of tickets for a later date because who knows when it will leave the West End again? The Lion King will play at The Liverpool Empire for 50 days, most days twice so if you haven’t got yourself a ticket yet…what are you waiting for?!
Have you seen The Lion King yet?
Until next time,