Tag Archives: Edinburgh

NEWS: Capital Theatres in Edinburgh appoints new Chief Executive Officer

Capital Theatres is delighted to announce that Fiona Gibson has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer to lead the charitable trust that runs Edinburgh’s Festival and King’s Theatres and The Studio.

Fiona is currently Interim Chief Executive for the Everyman and Playhouse Theatres in Liverpool and is the former Business Director of Octagon Theatre, Bolton. She has extensive experience as a Business Change Leader both in theatre and consulting cross-industry, delivering significant projects across a range of sectors including the arts, retail, hospitality, consumer goods, utilities, chemicals, automotive and construction.

Born and raised in Glasgow, Fiona studied Psychology & Drama at Glasgow University. She will be relocating to Edinburgh to take on the role and will take up post on 20th April 2020 following the retirement of the current Chief Executive, Duncan Hendry, in December 2019.

On announcing the news, Chair of the Board, Professor Dame Joan Stringer said: ‘Fiona brings an exceptional skillset and a broad range of experience, working across a number of sectors, arts and business. As we look to the start of our £25m redevelopment of the King’s Theatre with building works commencing in 2021, Fiona will provide inspirational leadership to continue the success of Capital Theatres into its next exciting era.’

On her appointment to the role of Chief Executive, Fiona Gibson said: ‘What an amazing time to be joining this wonderful, world renowned institution.  Capital Theatres sits at the heart of culture in Scotland, and I am privileged to be taking over the reins at such an exciting period of change.  With two beautiful heritage buildings, along with a stunning Studio, and a programme of work that is the envy of the sector, I have a lot to thank Duncan for.  He should be rightly proud of his legacy, and I look forward to returning to my Scottish roots, continuing his great work and collaborating with you all to take Capital Theatres to the next level’

NEWS: Scottish Ballet announce their 2020/2021 season

Scottish Ballet CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson reveals an inspirational 2020/2021 programme that sees the company perform on local, national and international stages.

The 2020/2021 season includes:

  • The world premiere of a reimagined production of Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling: ‘The Scandal at Mayerling’the first time MacMillan’s sumptuous historical masterpiece will be produced in the UK, outside of London.
  • The Kennedy Centre, Washington USA premiere, and Spoleto Festival USA transfer, of Helen Pickett’s award-winning The Crucible, which gained audience and critical acclaim following its world premiere at Edinburgh International Festival in 2019.
  • Cutting-edge contemporary works MC 14/22 and Sibilo to make the company’s Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, London debut.
  • The return of two of the world’s most popular ballets: Scottish Ballet’s raw and intense Swan Lake, and festive family favourite The Nutcracker.
  • Tickets for Scottish Ballet’s 2020/2021 season are now on sale at co.uk

Announcing the 2020/2021 season launch Christopher Hampson, CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, said: ‘It’s been an incredibly exciting time for Scottish Ballet during the company’s 50th anniversary year. The 2020/2021 season connects us with audiences from across the world through an invigorating repertoire showcasing some of today’s most cutting-edge choreographers, and Scottish Ballet’s adventurous, daring and unique style.’


SPRING

This Is My Body
Double bill: MC 14/22 and Sibilo

Scottish Ballet launches their 2020/2021 season with a programme of contemporary work, which sees them make their Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, London debut with This is My Body from 31 March – 3 April.

A contemporary double bill of work that celebrates and tests the power and versatility of dancers’ bodies, This is My Body includes MC 14/22, choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj and Sibilo, choreographed by Sophie Laplane.

MC 14/22 (Ceci est mon corps) is a meeting of the spiritual and the carnal, drawing on St Mark’s version of The Last Supper in the Bible: ‘Take, eat: this is my body’. Created for twelve male dancers by Angelin Preljoçaj, with soundscapes by Tedd Zahmal, this powerfully sensual and passionate work is a hymn to the male body, stripped down to its deepest reality.

Sibilo, by Scottish Ballet’s Artist in Residence, Choreographer, Sophie Laplane, is a joyful, humorous and surreal work featuring eight dancers, whose eclectic movement is led by audible whistles (sibilo is Latin for whistle) in the soundtrack. Laplane collaborated with Scottish electronic DJ and music producer Alex Menzies (aka Alex Smoke) to create the original musical composition for this piece.

This is My Body will also tour to New York, with details announced in November / December 2019. Sibilo is being presented in London and New York thanks to the generous support of Sir Sandy & Lady Crombie.

Swan Lake

Alongside work in London and New York, Spring will see Scottish Ballet present its contemporary take on the ballet world’s most popular title, as it tours Scotland, following a sold-out debut in 2016.

Opening on 9 April 2020, this sleek and unmissable Swan Lake, choreographed by David Dawson, is a production retold for a new generation.

Arching backs, spiralling arms and mesmerising patterns push the Company dancers to their physical limits in this tale of purity versus seduction. David Dawson’s daring, visceral choreography is perfectly paired with the rich, romantic Tchaikovsky score, played live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

Swan Lake will tour to Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow from 9 April-2 May 2020.

The Crucible

Following a triumphant world premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2019, and a critically acclaimed tour of Scotland, Helen Pickett’s award-winning The Crucible will travel to its spiritual home to make its US premiere as it opens at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC from 13-17 May, before transferring to open the dance programme at Spoleto Festival USA from 22-24 May 2020.

Adapted from Arthur Miller’s masterpiece of power and persecution, Helen Pickett’s award-winning choreography unleashes the full emotional force of the story as a new narrative ballet.

The first major dance adaptation of Miller’s work, created in collaboration with director James Bonas, The Crucible is an allegorical comment on the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s; Miller’s chilling account of the 1692 Salem witch trials that recalls a community destroyed by fear, hostility and hysteria.

Designers David Finn and Emma Kingsbury bring the theatrical elements to life with costumes, lighting and set, and the performances are vividly accompanied by Peter Salem’s haunting new score.

The first of Scottish Ballet’s ambitious commissioning programme Five in Five which will see the company stage five new full-length ballets over five years, The Crucible will tour the US from 13 May-24 May 2020.

AUTUMN

The Scandal at Mayerling

Dramatically reimagined and adapted for Scottish Ballet by Gary Harris and Christopher Hampson, The Scandal at Mayerling will feature bold new designs from Elin Steele and a new orchestration from Martin Yates. This dramatic new interpretation of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s iconic ballet Mayerling, will open at Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, 17 September 2020.

True to the original, the story is set in Vienna in 1889 and follows the story of Crown Prince Rudolf, an anti-hero as compelling as Hamlet, who has a morbid fascination with death and a voracious sexual appetite. The Scandal at Mayerling is an intense and lavish period production, a story of obsession and mortality, with a backdrop of sumptuous set and costumes. The story is brought to life by the music of Franz Liszt, performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

Developed in association with Lady Deborah MacMillan, this is the third of Scottish Ballet’s ambitious commissioning programme Five in Five.

The Scandal at Mayerling tours to Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow from 17 September – 10 October 2020.

WINTER

The Nutcracker

Rounding off the 2020/2021 season, The Nutcracker returns due to never-ending demand as it opens at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh from 5 December 2020.

A firm family favourite, this magical story takes you on a journey through the eyes of a child as it follows the adventures of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Nutcracker Prince and the larger-than-life Rat King.

Leaving children and adults in awe, this heart-warming tale places Peter Darrell’s choreography centre-stage as dancers perform to Tchaikovsky’s score, that transports audiences to a far-away land of dreams…and baubles.

The Nutcracker tours to Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow, Newcastle and Belfast from 5 December 2020 – 13 February 2021.

2020/2021 Listings:

Swan Lake
Choreographed by David Dawson
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh:                          9-11 April 2020

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen:                  16-18 April 2020

Eden Court, Inverness:                                   23-25 April 2020

Theatre Royal, Glasgow:                                29 April – 2 May 2020
#SBSwanLake

 

The Scandal at Mayerling
Choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh:                          17-19 September 2020

Theatre Royal, Glasgow:                                24-26 September 2020

Eden Court, Inverness                                    2-3 October 2020

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen:                  8-10 October 2020
#SBMayerling

 

The Nutcracker

Choreographed by Peter Darrell

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh:                          5-31 December 2020

Theatre Royal, Glasgow:                                6-16 January 2021

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen:                  20-23 January 2021

Eden Court, Inverness:                                   27-30 January 2021
Grand Opera House, Belfast:                         10-13 February 2021

The Nutcracker will also be presented in Newcastle, with more information announced in Spring 2020.

NEWS: STRICTLY COME DANCING – THE PROFESSIONALS 2020 UK TOUR PRO DANCERS ANNOUNCED

Dust off your dancing shoes! Following the hugely successful Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals 2019 UK Tour, fans up and down the UK will be thrilled to learn the line-up of dancers who will be bringing all the glitz and glamour to the live stage in the brand new 2020 Professionals Tour. Tickets are on sale now.

Cha-cha-cha-ing their way around the UK will be no less than 10 of the incredibly popular and multi award-winning professional dancers from the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing BBC One series, in what promises to be another explosion of electrifying dance.

The world class line-up of Strictly professionals performing on the tour are: Australian Open Champion and 2018 finalist Dianne Buswell; Two-time Ballroom and Latin World Champion Nadiya Bychkova; Italian Latin Champion Graziano Di Prima; Professional World Mambo Champion and former Strictly finalist Karen Hauer; World Professional Latin Showdance Champion and 2017 Strictly Champion Katya Jones; undefeated four-time British National Champion Neil Jones; eight-time South African Latin American Champion and 2016 Strictly finalist Oti Mabuse; 2017 Strictly finalist Gorka Marquez; four-time Italian Dance Championship winner Luba Mushtuk and two-time Strictly Come Dancing South Africa finalist Johannes Radebe.

STRICTLY COME DANCING – THE PROFESSIONALS UK TOUR 2020

Visiting Scotland at:

2 June                              Glasgow: Clyde Auditorium                                 7.30pm

3 June                              Edinburgh: Playhouse                                           2.30pm & 7.30pm

4 June                              Edinburgh: Playhouse                                           7.30pm

For more information and to book tickets visit strictlytheprofessionals.com

NEWS: Crowd-funder campaign to support spoof documentary FOH (Front of House) filming at King’s Theatre Edinburgh

CROWDFUNDER CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO MAKE NEW EPISODES OF SPOOF DOCUMENTARY ‘FOH’.

Tom Read Wilson, Harriet Thorpe, Grant Stott and Andy Gray join the cast of mockumentary series ‘FOH’, filmed at the iconic King’s Theatre Edinburgh.

FOH, the spoof documentary that charts the ups and downs of life working front of house in a theatre has started a Crowdfunder campaign to make three brand new episodes featuring a starstudded cast. Edinburgh writer and director Andrew Dyer filmed the pilot for FOH two years ago which quickly gained over 50,000 views online and developed a strong fan base.

The show was inspired by his time working front of house in London and at the King’s and Festival Theatres in Edinburgh. On how the pilot came to be:  “Working front of house is a great place for people watching as the audiences are completely different from one show to the next and there is always a brilliant mix of staff working. Over the years I started to take note of funny situations that would happen and characters that stood out and it seemed only natural that a fly on the wall comedy was the best way to share some of them!”

Dyer is an Edinburgh native, he studied acting at Queen Margaret University before training at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He turned his hand to writing and directing comedy in 2014 where he developed his first Edinburgh Fringe show with comedy partner Michelle Whitney who he met while studying at RAM. (Whitney also features in ‘FOH’ as Linda the Front of House Manager.)

The pilot proved so popular that he has decided to create more episodes, with some famous faces now joining the original cast, and is turning to crowdfunding where they need to raise £8,000 to make three short episodes. “We made our pilot on basically zero budget and pulled in a lot of favours to do so and as proud as we are of our pilot we are not able to produce more episodes in the same circumstances. We want to pay for our professional cast and crew as well as cover the various production expenses so any donations made would be greatly appreciated but even just a ‘like’ and ‘share’ to spread the word will go a long way!”

‘Celebs Go Dating’ star Tom Read Wilson is the latest to join the line up of star cameos that includes Harriet Thorpe (‘Absolutely Fabulous’, ‘The Brittas Empire’) and King’s Theatre panto stars, Andy Gray and Grant Stott. 

The King’s where ‘FOH’ is filmed (but not set) is an Edinburgh institution and has been welcoming audiences since 1906. The new episodes will be made in advance of the theatre’s major redevelopment in 2021.

You can find out more about ‘FOH’ and make a donation by visiting: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/foh-the-mockumentary.

The original episode can be viewed on their Facebook page: https:// http://www.facebook.com/fohthemockumentary

“If you’re a theatre fan I hope you will enjoy ‘FOH’ but I also hope that anyone who has ever worked a customer service job can relate to the people in the show or recognise similar situations they’ve experienced!”

REVIEW: Confetti and Chaos – Imagination Workshop, Edinburgh

Interactive Theatre International’s Confetti and Chaos is back at its spiritual home, smack bang in the middle of the madness of the Edinburgh Festival.

The world’s worst wedding reception still has the ability to surprise and delight and it’s all down to the pin-sharp script and the enviable comedy acting and improvisation skills of its talented cast.

The whole idea is a winner, because we’ve all been there: the excruciating speeches, the wild cannon relatives, secrets tumbling out of the closet, lips getting looser as the alcohol flows freely, drunken dancing and worse, much, much worse. Just when you think it couldn’t get any crazier, it does. Did I mention that while all the madness unfolds we, the wedding guests, are all enjoying a three course meal?

While there’s a face-achingly funny script at its backbone, it’s the ability of the cast to interact and react with the ever-changing nightly audience that makes this more than just a performance but an event for the ‘guests’. No matter how effortless this looks, it takes phenomenally talented actors to pull it off. Nerine Skinner, Otis Waby, Helen Colby and Hayden Wood, double and triple-up on roles and manage to give each their own individual characterisation, and each is funnier than the last. The energy required is astonishing and the effort the actors put in is laudable.

Confetti and Chaos (formerly The Wedding Reception) remains as hysterical as it ever was, and stands up to multiple viewings. A show where quality is assured night after night.

Runs until 26 August 2019 | Image: Contributed

REVIEW: West End Producer: Free Willy, Assembly Studio Two, Edinburgh

The infamous and anonymous mystery man of London theatre, West End Producer has finally taken the plunge and headed north of the border to Edinburgh for the summer season with his rubber Willy under one arm and baby grand under the other.

WEP is in town to audition hopefuls for his proposed West End mega hit-to-be Free Willy: The Musical. In the process we are let in on a few theatrical secrets, partake in a lesson on the perfect jazz hands and are led in a theme appropriate dolphin vocal warm up, there are even some genuine soiled West End show pants on offer to one lucky auditionee.

The fun starts before the show does with our idol interacting with his public in the queue, we are assigned our audition numbers and given a mini task to perform. Audience participation-phobes don’t despair though, it’s all very non-threatening – what else would you expect, we know WEP is an absolute #dear.

As befitting WEP’s status among the stagey folks, the place is packed on this sunny afternoon and the large crowd really helps the atmosphere. This is a show that knows its audience – everyone is in on the West End gossip and the jokes and digs land, and the addition of a different guest each day, a fellow Fringe performer (today’s was comedian Patrick Monaghan) is a nice touch that delivers variety and a sense of what on earth is going to happen next? to the proceedings.

WEP is a man of many talents, as well as this being a well-conceived and executed show, he’s a gifted pianist and singer, and the comic songs are actually, in some cases, better than some of the drivel I’ve had to endure in real West End shows. WEP’s entrance on a blow up whale is also a sight once-seen – hard to forget.

If you are of a stagey disposition – this is a chance to get up close and personal with the enigma that is WEP. Go along and help West End Producer find his Willy – you won’t regret it.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

REVIEW: Keith Moon: The Real Me – Gilded Balloon Teviot Wine Bar, Edinburgh

Mick Berry endeavours to delve deep into the psyche of the world’s greatest rock drummer – The Who’s Keith Moon, but succeeds only in proving how decent a drummer he is himself  (he’s the author of The Drummer’s Bible), in this odd mish-mash of a show. 

There’s material a-plenty to plunder in Moon’s life, both actual and mythical, but this one-man version misses the mark in so many ways. Berry has apparently been working on this show since 2013, when a version appeared at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco, that time with the support of some fellow musicians playing his band-mates in The Who. This one-man version is neither straight biography, though there are many dis-jointed biographical moments, nor musical tribute to the great musician.

As the famous chords of Baba O’Reilly ring out and Berry batters out the ear-splitting, accompanying beat, there’s a sense of optimism that this might be a rollicking rock ‘n’ roll tale, but that quickly subsides the moment Berry opens his mouth and the worst British accent since Dick Van Dyke’s Bert in Mary Poppins comes out. During the course of the show it travels from Cornwall to Cockney to Canberra. There’s also the issue of Berry’s insistence in shouting out disjointed sequences of dialogue that are drowned out by the backing track and Berry’s own drumming. Other minor issues are Berry’s insistence on replicating Moon’s famous two-handed drumstick twirling that looks laboured, something he continues to try to do throughout. Despite his evident drumming skills, to a Who fan’s ears there are moments when he quite evidently fails to keep on these famous beats. Berry also looks uncomfortably nervous, whether with the material itself or the muted reaction of the small audience, it’s hard to tell. Moon managed only 32 years on this earth, and Mr. Berry is a man of advanced age that’s hard to hide in a small venue.

There’s little attempt to “pierce Moon’s insane exterior to get inside of this rock legend” or provide a “deeper, more personal, volatile and intimate exploration” as promised in the advertising material. It merely grazes the surface in the most superficial and confusing way. It smacks of self-indulgence and is badly in need of a pair or two of outside eyes to take what could be a dynamite story to the place where it should be to be a fitting tribute to one of the rock and roll greats. On a more positive note, the drumming’s good and there are snippets of some of the biggest hits of the greatest rock band Britain ever produced.

REVIEW: Phoenix – Pleasance 10 Dome, Edinburgh

If you’re looking for a creative team of infinite quality and a performer of prodigious talent (sometimes rare at The Fringe), then look no further than Richard Marsh and Jessica Sharman’s musical play, Phoenix.

Marsh and Sharman’s enviable track records include Marsh winning a Fringe First Award, a BBC Audio Drama Award, and a run in the West End with previous show Dirty Great Love Story, and in Sharman’s case, co-writing Ward Thomas’ record-breaking No.1. Country album Cartwheels.

This play is so much more than its simplistic blurb. It’s a big story in a small-sized show. On the face of it, it’s a tale of a wannabe rock star for whom fatherhood subsumes his hopes and dreams of stardom, but its themes are much greater than these few words, instead delivering a highly-relatable story of love and sacrifice.

There’s an elegant fluency to the writing, the beautifully constructed script has a completely developed story arc, fully rounded characters, all interwoven with some expertly crafted songs, and all packed into a 70-minute running time. The combination makes for an irresistible, gripping, funny, life-affirming show.

In a piece of master casting, multi-instrumentalist (guitar – electric and acoustic, keys, drums, looping) singer and actor Andy Gallo  plays Ash, and proves to be a rare find. He manages to perfectly pitch the gamut of emotions required of this marvellously layered tale, all the while banging out tunes on a plethora of instruments and singing. He has the audience transfixed from the start.

This is an astute piece of theatre. Well thought out, cleverly crafted and refreshingly surprising. This is the perfect five-star start to this year’s Fringe.

Runs at The Pleasance 10 Dome Edinburgh

Aug 3-12, 14-26

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical – Edinburgh Playhouse

With its origins as the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2010 festive show, nine years down the line, Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin’s musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda has been seen by over eight million people around the globe. Winning awards and smashing box office records wherever it goes (and deservedly so) the transformation of a much-adored but thematically and emotionally challenging children’s book was never going to be easy, taking its creators seven years to develop from page to stage – but boy was it worth it.

There are few other musicals, let alone one largely written for a child audience, that is a genuine emotional rollercoaster, laugh-out-loud funny and entirely entertaining from curtain up to curtain down for an audience of all ages. Never shying away from the darker corners of human nature, it re-iterates throughout that despite this one having one, not all stories have a happy ending. An unexpected and unwelcome addition to the grotesque Wormwood family, five-and-a-half-year-old prodigy with telekinetic powers Matilda (Scarlett Cecil), takes solace in books – from Austen and Brontë to Dickens and Dostoyevsky and finds a kindred spirit in her gentle and downtrodden new teacher Miss Honey. While she relishes starting school, the cruelty she seeks to escape at home is heaped upon her and her classmates ten-fold by their larger than life, ex-Olympic hammer throwing head mistress Miss Trunchbull (played to utter perfection and with great relish by Elliot Harper).

With a two-hour 40-minute running time, jam packed with dialogue, tricky lyrics and hugely inventive choreography and scene changes, Matilda’s success relies in no small part to a well-drilled cast, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better quality one than this. Scarlett Cecil, one of four Matildas is an absolute star, it must be remembered that this is a child taking on this role, a child who rarely leaves the stage during the entire production, a child who is delivering complex dialogue and lyrics that those treble her age would find challenging. The entire child cast are exceptional (the adults are pretty spectacular too) not a foot or word is out of place and the energy and gusto with which they attack every scene adds a youthful realism.

Both Kelly’s words (perfectly adapted from Roald Dahl’s original book) and Tim Minchin’s music and lyrics are clever, clever, clever and prove that there’s no need to dumb down to provide entertainment with mass appeal. As perfect as it’s possible to be, Matilda remains an outstanding musical in the British theatrical canon.

Runs until 27 April 2019 | Image: Contributed

This review was originally written for THE REVIEWS HUB

NEWS: The Lion King Returns to Edinburgh

The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland has today announced that the award-winning musical THE LION KING will return to the Edinburgh Playhouse in December 2019, the only Scottish dates on the second UK and Ireland tour.

Tickets will go on sale in March 2019. Fans can sign up for priority access to tickets at http://www.thelionking.co.uk

The tour coincides with THE LION KING celebrating 20 years at London’s Lyceum Theatre. Since the UK premiere in London on Tuesday 19th October 1999, THE LION KING has entertained over 15 million theatregoers and remains the West End’s best-selling stage production and the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time.

Colin Marr, Theatre Director, the Edinburgh Playhouse said: “We are incredibly excited to have Disney’s THE LION KING return to the Playhouse. I saw it for the first time in London recently and was blown away by the size and scale of the production. It’s an incredibly exciting show – a great spectacle but with brilliant humour too. I can’t wait to see it on our stage. The previous visit had a huge impact on the city attracting hundreds and thousands of visitors and generating millions of pounds for the local economy.  As the only Scottish venue, we are looking forward to welcoming audiences of all ages from Edinburgh, the rest of Scotland and internationally.”

The first tour of THE LION KING broke box office records at the Edinburgh Playhouse with a 15 week sell-out season playing to more than 325,000 people, 60% first time visitors to the venue with 29% from Edinburgh postcodes.

The hit production generated £17.2 million for the local economy with advertising in the city in 9 different languages including Gaelic, Dutch and Chinese attracting visitors from as far afield as Argentina, Malaysia and Canada.

With a cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers, the story of THE LION KING is miraculously brought to life using masks, puppets and striking costumes to tell the story of young Simba’s epic adventures as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming king.
The stunning simplicity of THE LION KING is the work of a team of designers which drew on diverse cultural influences to recreate the rich colours and vast expanses of the African savanna in this daring and inspiring reinvention of one of the most successful animated films of all time.

Julie Taymor’s internationally-celebrated stage adaptation opened on Broadway in 1997 and 25 global productions have now been seen by more than 95 million people. Performed in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway, London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo and Sapporo, Madrid, Scheveningen in Holland, Daegu in South Korea and on tour across North America – a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, THE LION KING’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.

 

Julie Taymor, one of the world’s most innovative directors, brought a vast array of disciplines to THE LION KING, including extensive experience staging epic theatre and opera productions, exploring classic myths through ritualised puppetry, mask, and movement. THE LION KING was the first musical she directed in the commercial theatre, and Taymor made Broadway history by becoming the first woman to win the Tony Award® for Best Director of a Musical.

The show’s full creative team, which won five Tony Awards® for its work on THE LION KING, reunited in 1999 to recreate the show in London. Julie Taymor and Michael Curry created hundreds of masks and puppets. Scenic design is by leading British designer Richard Hudson and lighting is by Donald Holder. Costume design is by Julie Taymor, and choreography by Garth Fagan. The book was adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the screenplay.

The original score from the animated film was expanded for the stage and now features 15 musical numbers.

As well as writing completely new songs, South African composer Lebo M created an evocative blend of African rhythms and chorales, with additional material by Julie Taymor and Mark Mancina. Elton John and Tim Rice have added three new numbers to the five that they wrote for the award-winning score of the animated film. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, including the Academy Award®-winning Can You Feel The Love Tonight and the haunting Shadowland.

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