Essay on Review of the on stage performance Of The Lion King

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Review of the on stage performance Of The Lion King

Drama

In 1999, a spectacle hit the west-end after it roared through Broadway in the USA, and a few weeks ago I went to see it at the Lyceum
Theatre. Disney's award winning animation, The Lion King, was brought to life in musical fashion by director Julie Taymor. It was seen with its story line intact, but as a completely original and sophisticated piece of theatrical art. With over 40 actors, singers and dancers giving a stunning performance of puppetry, song, dance, fairytale and even humour.

The story concerns young lion prince Simba, whose birth has pushed his evil uncle (Scar) back to second in line to the throne. Scar plots to kill both Simba and his father, King
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The cartoon characters are transformed with wildly imaginative masks and puppets. Just to get a better view of the whole stage in the opening scenes (pride rock), in went up stairs and stood right at the back. The astonishing thing was that, even though the stage was packed with a huge elephant, towering giraffes and other animals I could still identify the main characters by there striking masks, meaning the masks still had the most potential in capturing the audience. The costumes of most animals were made structurally (i.e. wood) covered with exotically coloured fabrics. The opening scenes at Pride Rock present the audience with most characters that will appear in the play. We see giraffes on stilts, leaping antelopes, a giant elephant and its baby, and many swooping birds.

The music and dance in The Lion King are good, but maybe it's only downfall. Most of the songs are by Elton John and Tim Rice which add that original feeling from the animation (such as 'Circle of life'), but in some places it got very patchy. However, at the beginning of
Act 2 an exciting African rhythm by Lebo M, called "One by One", has a tribal chanting feel and although in a different language, it is easily understood by the audience as cheerful, and celebrative. It's sung by the wise baboon Rafiki and really gets the audience whipped up on our return from the interval. With the choreography mixed in, it

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