The Lion King Musical – a review

*Spectacular* If I could sum up The Lion King Musical in one word, that would be it.

The costumes …

The puppetry … 

The choreography…

The staging…

The vocals…

The acting…

… all spectacular!

There is just no better word to describe the show we watched at Bristol Hippodrome on Tuesday, it really was a masterpiece from start to finish and there is no other show like it! 

The Lion King is an award winning landmark musical that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Everything about it is incredible and well-planned. There has been great work by the movement and choreography teams to inspire the cast to move like animals and it’s mesmerising. The artistry of the production draws on diverse cultural influences, enriched by the strong colours, Javanese dance and the distinctive rhythms and sounds from Africa. It’s so easy to believe you’re in the savanna for the duration of the show!

The Lion King Musical is a great choice for a family trip this half term! It is a great choice for a child’s first musical experience and a perfect introduction to the world of theatre for many reasons.

For starters, the show is mesmerising with incredible costumes, scenery and puppetry. In addition to the wonderful theatrics, every child can relate to a parent-child relationship and so even the smallest members of the audience can feel an emotional connection to the story. Add to that the familiar songs and humorous characters and kids are completely fixated on the stage. Otis is 6 and barely moved throughout the show, keeping his eyes fixed on the actors. I’d think this is a great show for children aged 5+, and potentially even 4 year olds who can sit well for an extended period of time already.

What I really loved about the show is how the actors perfectly depicted the emotional growth and development of Simba and Nala from childhood into adulthood. Young Simba was played by Vidar Soluade and Young Nala was played by Adreanna Steventon-Todd. Both young actors perfectly showed the innocence and nativity of their characters as well as their fun and rebellious sides. Their energy was infectious as they interacted so well with each other and the adults on stage.

Once matured, the roles of Simba and Nala were played by Kyle Richardson and Nokwanda Khuzwayo who, despite the growth in age, still brought youthful energy to the stage whilst also perfectly showing their struggles with the responsibilities of adulthood. 

The role of Mufasa was played by Jean-Luc Guizonne and he makes it known he is the king from his first step on stage. Every step is strong, proud & charismatic. 

Brilliant humour was brought to the show through so many different characters. Alan McHale‘s performance as Timon and Carl Sanderson as Pumbaa always had the audience giggling along thanks to some well-timed punchlines. Hyena trio Shenzi, Banzai and Ed (Candida Mosoma, Reece McKenzie and Alex Bloomer) – Ed especially – gave us some silly humour which the kids in the audience especially found funny (Otis kept sticking his tongue out to mimick Ed as he laughed along!). Other humorous characters included Zazu (Matthew Forbes), Rafiki (Zodwa Mrasi) and at times, Scar too (Richard Hurst)! Zazu seemed to be a particular favourite with the parents in the audience who related to his struggles of keeping young Simba and Nala in line!


All in all, this is an exciting and clever show from start to finish. From the very first scene, the cast move through the audience where those in the stalls are treated to a really up-close look at the brilliant costumes and puppets – including an almost life-size elephant and rhino! In fact, the cast make use of the two aisles in the stalls frequently and it’s also a great place to sit for a good view of the musicians placed in the balconies. For this reason, if you’re able to spend a little more for seats in the stalls, this is the show to do it! 

The Lion King is at Bristol Hippodrome until 1st July and you really don’t want to miss this one!

Book your tickets here:

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