Theatre Memories & Quick CD Album Review – ‘The Lion King’ (Stage Show)

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

One of the things I was looking forward to this year was seeing the stage show of ‘The Lion King’ in Cardiff at the Wales Millennium Centre. I have seen ‘The Lion King’ stage show before at the Lyceum Theatre in London back in November 2010. I was so looking forward to seeing it again 10 years later.

Sadly, due to the coronavirus pandemic happening this year – please keep safe – all the Cardiff performances for ‘The Lion King’ have been cancelled and rescheduled for 2022. I’m gutted that this has happened. I hope one day I’ll see ‘The Lion King’ again on the stage, whether it’ll be 2022 or not.

In place of my disappointment for not seeing it again this year, I’m happy to share with you my memories of seeing ‘The Lion King’ stage show for the first time in London, November 2010. I’m basing this on the music CD album of ‘The Lion King’ stage show, which also includes a bonus DVD. 🙂

‘The Lion King’ is a Disney film I’ve grown up with since I was a kid in the 1990s. I loved watching ‘The Lion King’ at the cinema on a school trip as well as seeing it on VHS and DVD/Blu-ray many years later. I’ve also enjoyed seeing the home video sequels, including ‘The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride’ and ‘The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata’. I’ve also enjoyed the TV show ‘Timon and Pumbaa’ on TV and VHS.

Seeing ‘The Lion King’ stage show was an amazing experience. From the opening number of ‘Circle of Life with Nants’ Ingonyama’ to the amazing mixture of puppetry and actors playing the animal characters, I found it to be an amazing live-action version of ‘The Lion King’. It’s a much better live-action version of ‘The Lion King’ compared to the 2019 remake, which I saw at the cinemas last year.

The story is divided into two acts and it focuses on the story of a young lion cub named Simba who grows up to be like his father Mufasa and to take his place in the Circle of Life. But his evil uncle Scar schemes to kill Mufasa and he sends Simba to run from home so he can take over the Pride Lands. 😦

Simba soon runs into Timon and Pumbaa, a meerkat and a warthog that show him the way of Hakuna Matata – ‘no worries’. Simba grows up into a young lion and reunites with his sweetheart Nala who persuades him to return to the Pride Lands in order to defeat the evil Scar and the hyenas.

‘The Lion King’ is a very uplifting story and it works well on the stage as well as the 1994 cartoon film. I felt the power and the emotions of the story through the performances of the actors and the music played, which does come from the original movie as well as the ‘Rhythm of the Pride Lands’ CD.

When I had the music album CD of ‘The Lion King’ stage show, it was given to me for Christmas after we saw the stage show in London. The music CD was to celebrate 10 years of ‘The Lion King’ stage show in London, which would’ve been in 2009. I was very happy to have the music CD as a souvenir.

As well as the five well-known songs from ‘The Lion King’ including ‘Circle of Life’, ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’, ‘Be Prepared’, ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ by Elton John and Tim Rice, there are some additional music and songs. These are from people like Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor (who directed the stage show) and Hans Zimmer, which I did enjoy.

Most of the music comes from the ‘Rhythms of the Pride Lands’ CD, which was music inspired by ‘The Lion King’ film. This includes ‘They Live In You’/’He Lives In You’, which is featured in ‘The Lion King 2’; ‘One by One’; ‘Shadowland’ and ‘Endless Night’. The songs are well-performed and uplifting!

It was fascinating to see the stage show and have Rafiki the baboon played by a woman instead of a man. I loved the puppetry for Timon and Pumbaa’s characters as well as Zazu. The lion costumes for Simba, Mufasa, Nala and Scar are well-done. They sometimes do seem to be more human than lion.

The stampede number is very well put together and it was fascinating to see it translated from the animated film into the stage show. Watching the show, I did wonder how they would successfully translate the animated film into the stage show, but it’s done really well with such imagination here.

As well as enjoying the music CD, which includes the original Broadway cast recording, I also enjoyed the bonus ‘behind-the-scenes’ DVD, featuring interviews with people like director Julie Taymor on how they conceived and translated ‘The Lion King’ into a stage show compared to being an animated film. The passion put into ‘The Lion King’ stage show is pretty genuine.

So yeah, ‘The Lion King’ stage show was a happy experience for me back in 2010. I look forward to seeing it again as it was such a brilliant experience. I’m pleased to have the music CD as I often finding myself humming and singing to the lyrics of the songs, which are very powerful and uplifting.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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