AGE RESTRICTIONS: THE LION KING is recommended for a general audience. Children under 3 years of age are not permitted to enter the Lyceum Theatre. The Lion King is recommended for ages 6 and up. All persons aged 16 or under must be accompanied by an adult and may not sit on their own within the auditorium. All persons entering the theatre, regardless of age, must have a ticket.
Book The Lion King Tickets
Walt Disney's long-running and multi-award winning musical The Lion King continues to delight audiences in London's West End. After opening on Broadway in 1997, the show has gone on to be the most successful piece of entertainment in history, mounting numerous world-wide productions including the original London production at the Lyceum Theatre in the heart of the West End.
Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney's The Lion King is unlike anything ever before seen in musical theatre and will redefine your expectations of what theatre can be. Director and designer Julie Taymor crafts a colorful, imaginative and highly creative world that brings the flora, fauna, and animals of Africa to live, set against a timeless score by Elton John and Tim Rice, with additional songs by Lebo M, Julie Taymor, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.
Thousands continue to pack the Lyceum Theatre every week with their Lion King tickets to celebrate and revel in the majestic storytelling that transports audiences to a dazzling world that explodes with glorious colors, stunning effects, and enchanting music.
The production currently stars New Zealander Nicholas Afoa who makes his West End debut in the role of Simba, reprising his performance from the Australian production. Read our interview with Nicholas Afoa to find out more about his experience with the show.
The song list for the London production includes:
"Circle of Life" "Grasslands Chant" "The Lioness Hunt" "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" "They Live in You", "Be Prepared" "The Stampede" "Rafiki Mourns" "Hakuna Matata" "One by One" "The Madness of King Scar" "Shadowland" "Endless Night" "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" "He Lives in You (Reprise)" "Simba Confronts Scar" "King of Pride Rock/Circle of Life (Reprise)" Book your The Lion King tickets, playing at the Lyceum Theatre, London.
About Disney's The Lion King
Based on the hit 1994 Walt Disney animated film of the same name, The Lion King musical is set in the African Pridelands and tells the coming of age story of lion cub Simba. Introduced to the animal kingdom as the heir to Pride Rock by his father Mufasa, Simba's birth has unsettled his Uncle Scar who finds himself relegated down the line of succession, and he plots along with his hyenas to kill both Mufasa and Simba in order for him to become King.
As Simba grows up and begins to test the boundaries, Mufasa teaches him about the circle of life and their place within the ecosystem. Tricked by Scar, Simba watches helplessly as his father is killed in a stampede. He is persuaded that the accident is his fault, and to run away leaving his friends and family behind. As Scar becomes King of Pride Rock, Simba grows up in the jungle, but his past soon catches up with him and he's finally forced to face his destiny.
Facts & Figures
To give you some idea of what a colossal undertaking it was to bring this tremendous show to the stage, it took 17,000 hours to build all the puppets and masks involved, and 114 people are needed to prepare for each performance. But all this work has certainly been worth it because more than 80 million people across the globe have now seen the show.
2 Hours and 45 Minutes
Sun, 29 September 2019
The Lion King Cast
By: Book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi Producer: Walt Disney Theatrical productions under the direction of Peter Schneider and Thomas Schumacher. Director: Julie Taymor Songs by: Elton John and Tim Rice. Additional songs by Lebo M, Julie Taymor, Mark Mancina, Hans Zimmer. Lighting: Donald Holder Design: Richard Hudson Choreography: Garth Fagan Costume: Julie Taymor
Cast list: George Asprey (Scar), Shaun Escoffery (Mufasa), Brown Lindiwe Mkhize (Rafiki), Richard Frame (Timon), Keith Bookman (Pumbaa), Nick Afoa (Simba), David Blake (Banzai), Mack McGee as (Ed), Janique Charles, (Nala), Gary Jordan (Zazu), Dominique Planter (Shenzi), Lila Anderson, Owen Chaponda, Deborah Dada, Debôrah Godchaser, Brian James Leys, Nathan Louis-Fernand, Nonhlanhla Makthathini, Rutendo Mushonga, Luciano Santos Souza and Karlene Wray.
The Lion King Critics & Reviews
Critic's rating: ***** Review by: Kyle Wrentz
NOTE: This review was written by The Lion King alum Kyle Wrentz in celebration of the show's 20th Anniversary on Broadway...
A sunrise on a day. It could be a Saturday or a Wednesday, but regardless, 20 years later, The Lion King is still a timeless piece of artistry and magical allure. The moment you hear Rafiki’s clarion call across the pridelands welcoming the new prince to the kingdom, you are lost in the story, as the iconic procession of animals begins.
It is no wonder that sold out audiences continue to flock to the Minskoff Theatre 8 times a week, bringing their own legacy of family members that keep this fable alive. The score still maintains its variety of gifts, especially the songs rooted in the African tradition. Whether it be Grasslands, Rafiki Mourns or Shadowland, the ensemble sings in exceptional harmony with lush beautiful melodic tones that capture the essence of the evening.
As for the 20th Anniversary cast, Tshidii Manye continues her extraordinary run as Rafiki; she’s playful and illustrious and every time she hits the stage, the audience is in the palm of her hand. L. Steven Taylor captures all facets of the king, Mufasa. He is regal and full of gravitas, while also letting us glimpse behind the mask in the tender private moments he shares with his son, young Simba (played by an energetic Kenneth Aikens who displayed an awesome backhand spring). He is aptly assisted by Cameron Pow who is charming as Zazu, the trusty hornbill and confidant of the royal family.
Stephen Carlile, a prominent actor from London's West End, is deliciously wicked as Scar, he seems to be having a ball plotting and scheming away for the coup of the century. He brings along three misfit hyenas for the ride; hilariously played by Bonita Hamilton, James Brown-Orleans, and Enrique Sequra. Jelani Remy brings a vulnerability and magnetism to the role of Simba. From the moment he swings out on that vine in the middle of the jungle, you are rooting for this lion to find his way back home and claim himself as the rightful king. Jelani’s interpretation of the folk tune Endless Night was performed with an honest purity that truly was a highlight of the evening.
Timon and Pumbaa keep the comic relief coming all evening. Ben Jeffery sets up the jokes nicely, and Fred Berman knocks the ball right out of the park, all the while keeping us full of chuckles. A special mention needs to go to the remarkable dancers of The Lion King ensemble who performed updated choreography throughout the evening. Their new movement during the She's Going to Eat Me portion of the performance gathered rapturous and sustained applause, so kudos to them for their remarkable artistry and sustained commitment to the storytelling.
Overall, The Lion King continues to be a wonderful evening at the theater. You will laugh, cry and marvel at all the beauty around. As Rafiki says during Circle of Life, “There is far too much to take in here, more to find than can ever be found.” That declaration still rings true, 20 years later. Every time I see The Lion King, I notice something new, I consider the story through the eyes of another character’s perspective. In such a time of turmoil and discourse, it is lovely to get lost in this iconic piece and be inspired by all the cultures and individuals who continue to come together to make the entrancing musical still shine so radiantly today.
(Photo by Joan Marcus)
What the popular press says...
"Seen purely as a visual tapestry, there is simply nothing else like it. Suddenly, you're 4 years old again, and you've been taken to the circus for the first time. You can only marvel at the exotic procession of animals before you: the giraffes and the elephants and the hippopotamuses and all those birds in balletic flight. Such is the transporting magic wrought by the opening 10 minutes of The Lion King, [director Julie] Taymor has introduced a whole new vocabulary of images to the Broadway blockbuster." Ben Brantley for New York Times
"Julie Taymor's staging of Disney's The Lion King is a marvel, a theatrical achievement unrivaled in its beauty, brains and ingenuity. Leaping far beyond its celluloid inspiration, the stage version improves upon nearly every aspect of the hit 1994 animated film, from visual artistry and storytelling to Lebo M's score and the newly African-ized pop songs of Elton John and Tim Rice." Greg Evans for Variety
"A jaw-dropping magnificent spectacle. The show and the playhouse are enchanting. The unprecedented production is worth every penny. If this is Disney's idea of a theme park, we are delighted to report that the theme is quality." Linda Winer for Newsday
"Awe-inspiring! Broadway theater is alive again. [Julie] Taymor's imaginative ideas seem limitless. it's a gorgeous, gasp-inducing spectacle. Most important - against all odds - it has innocence. The show appeals to our primal, childlike excitement in the power of theater to make us see things afresh." Richard Zoglin for Time Magazine
"The breathtakingly staged Broadway adaptation of Disney's king of the cartoon jungle is an instant theater classic." Chris Willman for Entertainment Weekly
External links to full reviews from the popular press...
The Lyceum Theatre opened in its current form in 1904 with a design by Bertie Crewe. The façade dates back to 1834, retaining a design by Samuel Beazley. The 1834 theatre opened as the Theatre Royal Lyceum and English Opera House and very much focused on performing English operas, rather than the Italian operas that the theatre had become associated with earlier in the 19th century. The 1840s also saw stage adaptations of Dickens’ novels being performed, including a highly successful production of Martin Chuzzlewit that ran for more than 100 performances. Dickens himself appeared on stage here in 1860 in a stage adaptation of his novel A Tale Of Two Cities.
The 1904 renovation saw the auditorium almost completely rebuilt and adorned in a rococo style of decoration which still exists today. After 25 years of presenting variety acts, Christmas pantomimes and a series of melodramas presented by the Melville Brothers, the building was closed in 1939 facing demolition. Fortunately, it was rescued and reopened in 1951 as the Lyceum Ballroom, a Mecca Ballroom which saw many famous bands perform through the 1970s, including The Who, The Police, Led Zeppelin, U2, Bob Marley and the Wailers. It closed again in 1986 but was restored to theatrical use in 1996, including the addition of an orchestra pit.
Fun Fact – in the theatre’s earlier incarnation it played host to the first London exhibition of Madame Tussaud’s waxworks (in 1802).
The auditorium has three levels – Stalls, Royal Circle and Grand Circle. In the Stalls, the view of the stage is obstructed by the overhang of the Royal Circle from Row T onwards, but the Stalls generally offer a good view of the stage, with a rake from Row C.
In the Royal Circle, the view of the stage is slightly obstructed by the overhang of the Grand Circle from Row P onwards. The Royal Circle is steeply raked, offering good views, but is rather far back from the stage.
The Grand Circle is set very high in this theatre, and very steeply raked, so do take care when taking your seats.
Facilities At Lyceum Theatre
Seat plan: Lyceum Theatre Seat Plan Facilities: Air conditioned Bar Disabled toilets Infrared hearing loop Toilets Wheelchair accessible
Access description: A low level doorbell is provide at the booking office for patron's with access needs. There is a level access door next to The Wellington Pub, please contact a member of staff if you wich to come through this doow as it it not manned. All other entrances to the theatre have some steps. The entrance to the Grand Circle has 82 steps and is not reccomended for those with limited mobility. A lift is available for patrons sitting in the low numbered seating in the Royal or Grand Circles. Please contact a member of staff if you wish to make use of this facility. The theatre will open no more than 45 minutes before the performance starts. All patrons must be seated 5 minutes before the performance starts.
Sound Amplification: Infra-red loop system for the hard of hearing. Induction loop at Box Office. Please inform the Box Office at the time of booking as it may influence your seating allocation.
Guide Dogs: Guide dogs are allowed into the auditorium by prior arrangement with Box Office at time of booking. Alternatively, staff can dog-sit a maximum of 2 dogs.
Disabled Access: Entrance is through a signposted double EXIT door to left-hand side as you face the theatre. To use this entrance, please ask a member of staff. Slight slope down to the back of the Stalls – handrails either side and rest area by adapted toilets (1 way down corridor) – where there are 8 spaces for wheelchair users in row P. Wheelchair users must bring a non-disabled companion. Scooter/wheelchair transfer spaces to aisle seats in the stalls (by arrangement with Box Office). Transfer seating available to any aisle seat in the Stalls for people who can walk a little (by prior arrangement with Box Office). Slight slope from Stalls to Stalls bar.
Toilets: Toilets on each level. Women’s up 1 step at side of Stalls or 10 steps down from the Stalls bar. Men’s off Stalls bar.
Disabled Toilets: 2 adapted toilets (men’s and women’s) by the entrance to the Stalls.
Limited Mobility: Large print programmes, braile cast lists, touch tours.
Nearest tube: Covent Garden Tube lines: Piccadilly Location: West End Railway station: Charing Cross Bus numbers: (Strand) 4, 9, 15, 26, 76, 91, 139, 176, 341; (Aldwych) RV1, X68, 1, 6, 11, 13, 23, 59, 68, 87, 168, 171, 172, 188, 243 Night bus numbers: (Strand) 139, 176, 341, N9, N15, N21, N44, N76, N9; (Aldwych) 6, 23, 188, 243, N1, N11, N13, N26, N47, N68, N87, N89, N155, N171, N551 Car park: Drury Lane, Parker Street (10mins) Within congestion zone?: Yes Directions from tube: (5mins) Go right on Long Acre; turn right into Bow Street/Wellington Street and follow the road 200 metres. The theatre is on your right.