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BrumHour saw The Lion King at the invite of Birmingham Hippodrome.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Review: Disney’s The Lion King at Birmingham Hippodrome
Directed by Julie Taymor, music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi
Can Simba (Kyle Richardson) return to the land that is rightfully his and stop his uncle Scar (Richard Hurst) from destroying what’s left of his kingdom?
This is a huge production and it is easy to see why it will play to packed audiences night after night in Birmingham until Sunday 16th September 2023. Stunning costumes and bright sets bring the kingdom to life in vivid colours.
Nosipho Nkonqa arrives on the stage and welcomes the audience as Rafiki with the biggest and loudest song I’ve EVER heard in Birmingham Hippodrome opening with The Circle of Life. (And I’ve been seeing shows at Birmingham Hippodrome for over 40 years!
My niggles are minor and random, why are there jokes about Bullring’s Markets in the fourth wall breaks? Why do some characters have English or American accents if it is set in Africa? (The animated film certainly has this range of accents too.) All of that is forgotten when I see the projected elements and puppeteering and remember how much I loved the Hyenas, and of course, Timon (Alan McHale) and Pumbaa (Carl Sanderson) who bring their double act to life with apparent ease.
As shows go they don’t come much bigger than The Lion King in terms of scope and ambition and I’m sure that audiences will love this across the summer in Birmingham.
This media night performance began at 7.30pm and ran until just after 10.10pm so for younger ones it might be a very long night and the show itself is aimed at over 6s. the first half certainly lasted over seventy minutes so its something to consider when taking younger people.
The price tag is a little expensive compared to other productions but this isn’t a show you see on a whim or wondering if it will be for you. You have to know you love The Lion King to want to see this bright and bold version.
Simply fantastic, The Lion King is at Birmingham Hippodrome until 16th September 2023. Book tickets here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/the-lion-king-two