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Disney's The Lion King's Reign Begins in Edinburgh

Published by: Cameron Lowe on 10th Oct 2013 | View all blogs by Cameron Lowe
"From the day we arrived on the planet ... and blinking, stepped into the sun ..." With these words there is a real sense that something EPIC is about to happen ... AND IT IS!!

The Lion KingDisney’s legendary musical THE LION KING will begin performances tomorrow night at the Edinburgh Playhouse, in advance of its official opening on Tuesday 22nd October. This will mark the first time that Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated production will have played in Scotland.

An international cast of 52 performers from 18 different countries are today undergoing final preparations for their debut in Edinburgh. A fleet of 23 trucks has been utilised to transport Disney’s enormous production to Edinburgh, making it the largest theatre production ever to tour Europe.


Excitement has been building across the region since the season was announced in January. Ticket sales have been extremely strong, with over 210,000 seats already sold. Great seats are still available, particularly for midweek performances during the month of November.


The company is led by 11 principals; Gugwana Dlamini as Rafiki, Cleveland Cathnott as Mufasa, Meilyr Sion as Zazu, Stephen Carlile as Scar, Me’sha Bryan as Shenzi, Daniel Norford as Banzai, Philip Oakland as Ed, John Hasler as Timon, Lee Ormsby as Pumbaa, Nicholas Nkuna as Simba and Ava Brennan as Nala.

Four years in development, this first ever UK tour of Disney’s THE LION KING will play a four-month season in Edinburgh. The award-winning production will then play seasons in, Plymouth, Bradford and Liverpool, with additional cities to be announced shortly. In total, the production will visit 10 cities in the UK and Ireland over two and a half years.



Jo Beale, General Manager of The Edinburgh Playhouse, said:

"We are thrilled that Disney’s The Lion King opens it’s only Scottish season at The Edinburgh Playhouse tomorrow for a spectacular four month run. We look forward to welcoming several hundred thousand people to the Scottish premiere of this wonderful production, making it undoubtedly the greatest theatrical event the venue has ever seen.”

A free exhibition – EXPLORING THE LION KING – From Inspiration to Realisation – is also on display at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre until 12 January. This interactive exhibit includes costumes, masks and puppets from the production, along with original character models, sketches, set model and more.

The acclaimed stage adaptation of Disney’s 1994 animated film was first seen on Broadway in 1997, where it recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. The production has now been seen by over 70 million people across five continents and the acclaimed West End production continues to sell out at London’s Lyceum Theatre in its 15th triumphant year.






EXPLORING THE LION KING (The Lion King Exhibition)

From Saturday 28th September


City Art Centre

2 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1DE

0131 529 3993 /



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