Disney's The Lion King



Music: Lebo M, Elton John, Tim Rice
Book: adapted from the film by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi
Director: Julie Traynor
Design: Richard Hudson
Choreographer: Garth Fagan

Details: Lyceum Theatre, Wellington Street WC2v
Tube: Charing Cross

Disney's The Lion KingIn short: Cinema-to-stage roar of triumph for Disney big cat extravaganza.

In full: Sometimes, a fish needs a bicycle. That's the message of director Julie Traynor's inspired use of wheels and props to put animals on stage.

Her hands on approach pays dividends in the masks she makes herself, and she employs an eclectic mix of costumes to bring her creations to life. Furthermore, she follows her vision through by fusing Far Eastern traditions of animal representation with original African chants, rooting the glitz and glamour of the show in an earthy sense of the Savannah's mystique.

Relishing the theatricality of the film at its most scary and coaxing a tender kind of drama from the more poignant moments, the show is agile enough to side step the embarrassments of panto romp. Bringing Disney to the West End could have ended in tears - instead, the bland 'circle of life' message mocked by Mark Ravenhill in his latest blockbuster acts as welcome excuse for a rich array of world theatre techniques. The result is a delight for kids and adults alike.