The Lion King
Fri, 7th Sep 12
Disney's The Lion King has started its first national tour here in Bristol where it will remain for 3 months before spending 4 months, including the Christmas period, in Manchester. Before I go on, can I just congratulate the Hippodrome on their new Piano Bar - particularly the newly positioned (and much more convenient) toilets, better use of space, fabulous new style and their cocktail menu!
The Lion King is a big show, quite spectacular, and having seen it in London a few years ago I was interested to see how it would transfer to the Hippodrome. Well, I needn't have worried, at no point did I feel short changed by this version. I realise that its a smaller production but the design does an excellent job of making the place seem full all the time. Sound balance perhaps needs the vocals tweaked up a bit as some of the dialogue was hard to follow down in the stalls but essentially I have no beef with this production at all.
There are some beautiful set pieces in this show, lovely songs and a decent story line. The young Simba and Nala were excellent and Scar (Stephen Carlile), Timon (John Hasler) and Pumbaa (Mark Roper) extremely watchable. I loved Gugwana Dlamini's Rafiki, excellent characterisation and so beautifully played and Meilyr Sion was clearly having too much fun as Zazu! As a smaller cast they need to work harder and they certainly did that, stacks of energy, full commitment, great show.
If you are in the West then here's a chance to see a "West End Musical" at a local theatre, save yourself the cost and time of travelling to London, you'll lose nothing by seeing it in Bristol ;-)