The award-winning The Lion King musical is based on the Disney animated film. Directed by Julie Taymor, The Lion King includes actors and actresses in animal costumes, together with the use of puppetry. As soon as Simba is born, his evil uncle Scar is put back to second in line to the throne. Scar plots to kill Simba and his father, King Mufasa, before proclaiming himself King. Simba manages to survive the plot. He is however deceived into believing that his father has died and it is his fault, so he decides to flee the kingdom. The musical has a number of differences and additions in the storyline compared to the film.
Evenings: Tuesday to Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 2.30pm
Running Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Age Restrictions: The Lion King is recommended for children aged 7 and over. Under-3s will not be admitted.
Show Opened: 12th October 1999
Throughout its history, dating back to 1772, when the Society of Arts founded ‘a Room for Exhibitions and Concerts’ near the current site, the Lyceum has adapted to changing fashions and needs. When it was first built the theatre was home to a wide range of entertainment, with hot-air balloons, an animal circus, and also a fireworks display. Madame Tussaud’s first waxworks exhibition was displayed here in 1802. The theatre at one time became a temporary home for the Theatre Royal Drury Lane when it was burned down on 24th February 1809. After the Lyceum suffered a similar destiny in 1830, architect Samuel Beazley designed the new theatre and his magnificent portico is still used today. In 1834 the Lyceum’s productions were hampered by restrictions prohibiting so-called minor theatres from staging drama without a musical intermission, a legacy from the early days following Charles II’s restoration. The 1834 Licensing Act removed these restrictions, enabling the theatre to present Shakespeare and the classics. There followed a series of successful extravaganzas, but it was not until 1878 that the Lyceum firmly established itself at the pinnacle of the entertainment industry. In 1878 Henry Irving took over the lease of the property and Ellen Terry became his leading lady. This partnership had them nick-named ‘Lord and Lady of the Lyceum’. In 1898, poor health forced Irving to relinquish control of the theatre, ending a fabulous era. With no buyer being found by 1904 for the theatre it was decided to demolish and rebuild it. The new building was designed by Bertie Crew, and was at first used for music hall entertainment. During the period from 1909 to 1938 the Melville Brothers produced a series of spectacular melodramas at the Lyceum, with Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth seeing their first pantomime in 1934. In 1939 London City Council took over ownership, and they wanted to replace the theatre with a roundabout for road traffic. Ellen Terry’s great-nephew John Gielgud gave six farewell performances of Hamlet, proclaiming “Long Live the Lyceum”, and the declaration seeming somewhat optimistic, until the war intervened and demolition plans were put to one side. In 1945 Mecca Ballrooms took over the lease and today’s raked auditorium was at that time a large dance floor. By 1986 the Lyceum was again empty and not used but less than ten years later this decline was halted. Apollo Leisure took over the theatre in 1994 and secured permission to restore the theatre to its former glory. As it stands today, the theatre has state-of-the-art facilities and an opulent red and gold auditorium.
From Tuesday 19th November 1996 to Saturday 28th March 1998 Jesus Christ Superstar was performed and then from February 1999 to June 1999 Oklahoma!, and then on Friday 24th September 1999, The Lion King took up residence, it seems the ‘Lyceum roar’ is again roaring in this famous theatre.
21 Wellington St, London WC2E 7RQ
Book tickets online or telephone 020 7492 1602