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We’ve just enjoyed a fantastic night of family theatre at the Bristol Hippodrome

Just WOW! The Lion King at the Bristol Hippodrome is quite simply outstanding and among the best theatre we have ever seen! From the earliest moments (whatever you do, do not be late to your seat) and throughout each scene, the audience is mesmerised, entertained and thoroughly immersed in this well-loved story of the little lion cub who becomes a king.

Barely has the curtain risen than the action is spilling off the stage into the boxes and aisles of the Hippodrome, as troupes of performers, gymnasts, dancers, singers and the incredible puppets and animals that they bring to life create an atmosphere of celebration and joy throughout the theatre. And from this early point onwards, the energy remains, creating a faultless performance that will leave you spellbound.

Richard Hurst as Scar and Matthew Forbes as Zazu

For the few who haven’t yet been introduced to the story of Simba, the lion cub who is born to rule, it’s a beautifully-told tale of love, duty, betrayal and forgiveness, all presented through the words and music of Tim Rice and Elton John. I was watching the theatrical production with my eight-year old son, who was already a huge fan of both films, and we couldn’t wait to see how the story would be transferred to the stage.

In fact, the creativity and skills of the production team have to be seen to be fully appreciated. Through a combination of extraordinary costumes and the incredible skills of performers, the actors become lions, giraffes, gazelles and even elephants, mimicking the animals’ gestures and movements, alongside puppets and models, to turn the stage into the wild savannahs of Africa.

Throughout the songs of the original film are augmented by new tunes and original dialogue, with even a mention of Bristol’s own St Nicholas’ Market coming into play!

Thandazile Soni as Rafiki in Disney’s The Lion King

As yes, all of the favourites are there, from the officious and caring Zazu, to the terrifying Scar, courageous and dutiful Mufasu and comedic Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the flatulent warthog.

While the individual performances are all outstanding, special mention has to go at Thandazile Soni as Rafiki – what an amazing voice; each time she takes to the stage, the power and passion of her performance is electric.

As you can tell, we loved this performance big time. By the interval, I was busily texting family and friends to suggest that they book their tickets as soon as possible, and there’s a good chance I’ll be joining them again. What an amazing show!

The Lion King runs at the Bristol Hippodrome until 23 November. To book tickets, click here