The Lion King roars into Dublin

Thu, Oct 25, 2012, 01:00

Attendees to the Dublin launch for Disney’s The Lion King today were granted an exclusive peek into the story behind the award-winning musicale and a taste of what everyone can expect come its April premiere.

The Dublin run will be part of the production’s first UK and Ireland tour. The show, directed by Julie Taymor, first premiered on Broadway back in 1997 and has since been seen in 15 countries spanning five continents by 65 million people in seven different languages.

“We continue to be thrilled by how audiences enjoy The Lion King around the world and we are delighted to share Julie Taymor’s epic vision with Ireland,” said Fiona Thomas, vice president of the Disney Theatrical Group EMEA.

“Dublin’s Board Gáis Energy Theatre is a stunning venue, and we cannot wait to stage The Lion King there in the spring.”

The Lion King is based on the original Academy-award winning animated film by Disney of the same name, which first premiered in theatres back in 1994. The story follows a young lion cub named Simba as he grows, learns to cope with his father’s death and ultimately seizes his destiny as king.

“This is a simple story,” said Thomas Schumacher, Disney Theatrical Group president and producer, at the launch. “It’s a story about families, about community, about your responsibility, where you fit in, what do you owe, what is your responsibility to pay back.”

“It’s a tale. It’s a tale told in an extraordinary way on stage by a brilliant theatre-maker Julie Taymor, who transformed this.”

The production is the largest to ever tour Ireland and the UK, with over 100 backstage crew members and a cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers. The highly detailed costumes, sets, lights and puppets used to bring The Lion King to the stage will need 21 trucks to get them from place to place.

“If you look closely her corset is completely hand-beaded with shells and beads,” said Mr Schumacher, discussing the costume for the character Nala.

Along with directing and providing additional lyrics, Ms Taymor also designed the costumes and co-designed the masks and puppets for the production.

“One of the things that Julie always says is, I recognize that no one beyond the fifth row is going to see those beads, but the actors know those beads are there,” Mr Schumacher said. “They know the work that went into their costume, and the audience will feel that from the back of the theatre.”

The Lion King will run from Saturday, April 27th, to Saturday, June 22nd, at the Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 8am and can be purchased online at www.thelionking.ie