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1st November 2022

Palace Theatre Manchester feels the love

After a two-year postponement, The Lion King is coming to the Palace Theatre for a four-and-a-half-month residency
Palace Theatre Manchester feels the love
Photo: The Lion King

Disney’s award-winning musical The Lion King explodes with glorious colours, stunning effects, and enchanting music. It follows the powerful story of Simba as he journeys from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands.

Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s multi-award-winning musical is a unique theatrical experience that you will remember forever.

As you will surely already know, the stage musical is based on the 1994 Disney film of the same name. But you probably don’t know that the film is inspired by William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with elements from the Biblical stories of Joseph and Moses – as well as Disney’s own Bambi (1994).

After a try-out in Minneapolis in 1997, the musical premiered on Broadway later that year – and it has been there since. It opened on the West End in 1999, the year I was born, and it is still going strong. The musical did not tour the UK until 2012. Subtitled “The Zebra Tour”, it visited venues around the UK until 2015.

This current tour, the second, subtitled “The Rhino Tour”, began in 2019. However, due to the pandemic, two engagements were rescheduled: Manchester and Bradford. The tour reopened last year and has visited several cities ahead of a whopping four-and-a-half-month residency at the Palace Theatre Manchester.

The musical features the iconic songs from the film (music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice), with additional music and lyrics by Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor, and Hans Zimmer. An elaborate production with huge sets and mind-blowing puppetry, this is one for the senses.

So, hop on a plane to Africa this Autumn. We’ve been waiting two years; let’s celebrate the Circle of Life!

The Lion King began its run at the Palace Theatre on October 27 2022. It has just been announced that its run has been extended once again; it is now playing until March 11 2023. After this huge run, the UK tour visits Sunderland Empire from March 16 to May 6 and Birmingham Hippodrome from July 6 to September 16 – with more venues to be announced.

Jay Darcy

Jay Darcy

Theatre Editor. Instagram & Twitter: @jaydarcy7. Email: [email protected].

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