Disney's The Lion King returns to Mayflower Theatre

Updated: Sep 14, 2019

The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland and Mayflower Theatre have today announced that Disney’s The Lion King will return to Southampton in 2020. ­­­

The iconic musical that was seen by over 140,000 when it visited Southampton in 2014 will return from Thursday 3 September – Saturday 10 October 2020. Tickets go on sale in October 2019 and patrons can sign up for priority access at either https://www.mayflower.org.uk/thelionkingpriority from today.

The UK cities of The Lion King tour are exclusively supported by VeryMe Rewards from Vodafone UK.

This year, The Lion King celebrates an incredible 20 years in the West End. The musical had its premiere in London on 19 October 1999 at the Lyceum Theatre, which remains its home in London.

An internationally celebrated stage adaptation

Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation of The Lion King opened on Broadway in 1997 and 25 global productions have now been seen by more than 100 million people. The Lion King is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.

The show has been 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; Madrid; on tour across Japan and North America, with a separate production touring internationally, for a total of eight productions running concurrently across the globe.

Having played in more than 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.

The previous tour of The Lion King broke attendance records across the nation and the 2019 tour coincides with The Lion King celebrating 20 years at London’s Lyceum Theatre. Since the UK premiere in 1999, The Lion King has entertained more than 16 million theatregoers and remains the West End’s best-selling stage production and the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time.

With a cast of more than 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 Simba's epic adventures as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming king.

The stunning artistry of the production 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 feature films of all time.

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 Taymor directed in the commercial theatre and she made Broadway history by becoming the first woman to win the Tony Award® for Best Director of a Musical.

The Broadway 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 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.

Ticket information

· VeryMe Rewards by Vodafone presale: Thu 3 Oct 2019 at 8am

· Mayflower Theatre Executive Members Fri 4 Oct 2019 at 10am

· Mayflower Theatre Friends Members – Mon 7 Oct 2019 at 10am

· Mayflower Theatre Group Bookings - Mon 7 Oct 2019 at 2pm

· Disney and Mayflower Theatre Priority On Sale - Tue 8 Oct 2019 at 10am

· General sale: Wed 9 Oct 2019 at 10am

· Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.mayflower.org.uk or www.thelionking.co.uk

Performance information: Thu 3 September - Sat 10 October 2020

· Previews: Thu 3 September – Tues 8 Sept 2020

· Premiere/Press Night: Wed 9 Sep 2020 at 7.30pm

· Audio Described Performances: Tue 15 Sep 2020 at 7.30pm

· Captioned Performances: Tue 22 Sep 2020 at 7.30pm

· Signed Performances: Tue 29 Sep 2020 at 7.30pm

· Relaxed Performance: Wed 7 Oct 2020 at 1.30pm