A blog raveled in randomness
I saw ‘The Lion King’ musical at the Lyceum Theatre, and I absolutely loved it! You can judge me by saying I love every musical I see, but I cannot deny it: I absolutely loved it! Though I will say that the child performers were (trying hard not to be too harsh) not as good as I expected, and I will not say anything bad about child performers or actors because no matter how talented a child might be, performance on stage or on screen needs to radiate with experience. Unfortunately children lack that other half because they do not have a career history like adult performers. I always felt like their performances always dragged (I hope this is not too harsh) the plot line–definitely not their fault because this is part of their process of becoming a very talented musical performer in the future. The thing was that the young Simba character appeared until the intermission, so I had to enjoy the musical with the same facial expression the young child made most of the time. But they were great–I mean, I can never sing like them in such a clear voice hitting those notes that were pretty high for me. So overall, the musical was amazing!
Unlike the ‘Wicked’ musical, I knew the story of ‘The Lion King’ through the Disney animated movie (I watched only the first movie) but I heard that the musical had other songs that were not used in the movie. The music was beautiful and apart from the songs that I knew by heart, the other song that I loved was when Mufasa sang ‘They Live in You’. The male performer who wore the mask of Mufasa did a wonderful job, and his voice filled the theatre with warmth with the complement of live orchestra music. I wanted to cry (I held back) when Mufasa died, and I will applaud the child performer who acted very well after Mufasa’s death. It was a beautiful but sad scene–a rare scene that can produce two emotions at once.
The costumes were colorful and the production was not afraid in using bold bright colors for the set, which I liked. Also the animals were presented with different movements from scurrying hyenas to fluttering birds. The props were carefully planned out and were executed well on live performance. Especially the part when the young Simba was running at the same spot in the middle of the stage and a stampede of antelopes were crowding him with a shadowy figure behind him and performers turning with a large mask resembling an antelope face in front of stage. Also there were shadow plays to distinguish faraway distances and important fight scenes between lions. It was such a creative way of storytelling, and I adored it. I think it would have been hard if you were told to transform a story that was already developed into one of the most famous movies that contains unlimited settings of dynamic landscapes. They recreated the creatures and they created costumes that would show the faces of the performers and help them move more freely than they would have if they were in a full costume suit.
‘The Lion King’ musical was funny, colorful, festive, beautiful and touching from Mufasa’s fatherly speech to young Simba to the chorus singing ‘Circle of Life’. It is a performance that everyone can see and relate to at some point of this wonderful story. I thought both parts (before and after the intermission) of the musical were equally thrilling and scary, and I was excited to see how the ways of showing in the movie differs from the way on a musical stage. The characters had the same nature as in the movie and the musical did not completely stick with the movie’s script by adding a few modern references in their jokes. ‘The Lion King’ was a wonderful experience for me!
‘The Lion King’ Musical UK website: http://thelionking.co.uk/