MUSICAL REVIEW: The Lion King ★★★★★
The Lion King
Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff
13th December 2014
Based on the 1994 Disney Movie of the same name, and now in its sixteenth year and touring all around the world, The Lion King is one of the most top grossing Musicals of all time. For example, it has grossed $1 Billion dollars on and is the fourth most longest running show on Broadway. In September 2014, both the movie and musical were both together named the most top-earning on the box office, beating The Phantom of The Opera, which had grossed $6 billion.
Now on tour, I managed to catch the musical on it’s stop to Cardiff’s Millenium Centre, by the bay, and was thoroughly excited to watch the action on stage, especially being on the stalls level and so close to the stage. With this you could expect my excitement levels to kick off really high when the fantastic opening number, Circle of Life, explodes with colour and wonderful noise filling the auditorium as Animals from all across the world are walked through and interacting with the audience. You suddenly don’t know where to look, because from one side you get to see rhino’s, but then from the other, you see a giant elephant, which got a round of applause, stomping through and making it’s way onto the stage, just like the other animals started to follow, to really bring the scene and setting to life on stage, and has to be one of my favourite opening’s to any show I have seen of recent times at the theatre.
The rest of the show does not disappoint either, and you can really see the passion, determination, and energy from the audience really bringing these characters to life on stage, and seeing the actors on stage really bouncing that energy back. Not one dancer is out of place in an ensemble piece, everyone gave 100% commitment to every move, and that’s exactly what made the show for me so slick and made me leave the theatre wanting to go back that very evening to relive it all again.
Not only are the actors fantastic, but the sets used in the show are very impressive, especially he massive set piece used in the elephant graveyard, which also had one of my favourite songs from the show featured in that scene, Be Prepared.
Credit must also be due to just everyone who has clearly worked so hard behind the scenes to make the musical what it has become. The Choreography was precise, the puppeteers were fantastic in the realistic movement for their animals, the costumes were vibrant and really transported you, and the fast transitions throughout each scene made The Lion King for me, one of the Best Musical shows I have seen in a very long while, and would personally see me jumping at the chance to watch the action on stage relived all over again.