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With the most ambitious and creative use of the Hippodrome theatre space I have ever seen, including a multitude of incredible backdrops and immersive effects, as the sun rose over the stage we knew we were in for something really special …

Disney’s The Lion King

This iconic story has captivated audiences worldwide since its debut on Broadway in 1997. With its breathtaking visuals, powerful storytelling, and unforgettable music, this timeless production continues to leave a lasting impression – The Lion King at the Birmingham Hippodrome was nothing short of a mesmerising spectacle.

One of the most striking aspects is the visually stunning production design. From the opening scene, the theatre comes alive with vibrant colours, intricate costumes, and beautifully crafted puppets. The attention to detail in each character’s costume is astonishing, capturing the essence of the African savannah and bringing the animal kingdom to life. The clever use of puppetry in the portrayal of the animals, is truly awe-inspiring. The movements and expressions of the actors seamlessly blend with their puppet counterparts, creating a quite magical experience. Notably the puppeteer mastery of Alan McHale, operating the wonderful Timon, with such skill you completely focus on the puppet and not its master.

The cast delivered exceptional performances throughout that brought depth and emotion to their characters . One standout performance came from the talented young actor, Ro’jae Simpson, who portrayed the role of young Simba. Simpson’s performance perfectly captured the journey of a young cub growing with confidence into a courageous lion. His stage presence, charisma, and undeniable talent were evident in every scene he graced and his portrayal was a testament to his remarkable abilities and he deserves immense credit for his captivating performance, matched only by his young female counterpart Adreanna Steventon-Todd who played Nala.

The Lion King’s score, composed by the legendary duo, Elton John and Tim Rice, is a true masterpiece – iconic songs, such as ‘Circle of Life’, ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ were performed with incredible vocal ability by the talented cast. The familiar melodies resonated with the audience, eliciting both nostalgia and a sense of joy. However, it was Kyle Richardson’s rendition of ‘Endless Night’ that stood out as a truly emotional and captivating moment. Richardson’s powerful vocals and heartfelt delivery brought the song to life in a way that left the audience moved and spellbound.

Beyond its dazzling visuals and captivating music, The Lion King also delves into deeper themes of identity, responsibility, and the circle of life. The emotional journey of Simba as he grapples with his past and embraces his destiny resonates with audiences of all ages. The heartfelt moments between Simba and his father, Mufasa, tug at the heartstrings, while the struggles and triumphs of the animal kingdom serve as allegories for the human experience. This production is not just an entertaining spectacle, but also a thought-provoking exploration of life’s complexities.

The Lion King at Birmingham Hippodrome is a truly wonderful theatrical experience that brings the beloved Disney classic to life in a way that is both visually stunning and emotionally resonant. From the breathtaking production design to the powerful performances and unforgettable music, every element of this show is crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Whether you are a fan of the original film or a newcomer to the story, this is a must-see production that will leave you in awe.

The Lion Kings runs at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 16 September 2023. For ticket information click HERE