Meet Julie Taymor, Director of The Lion King

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When work began on adapting the Academy Award®-winning animated feature for the stage, the team were faced with an enormous challenge... How could you portray a savannah full of animals – everything from an ant to an elephant? How might you convey the great expanse of the African wilderness, and stage momentous plot-points including a terrifying wildebeest stampede and a raging waterfall?

These impossible questions found one brilliant answer, when Thomas Schumacher (President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Group) remembered a unique theatre artist he had worked with previously. That artist’s name was Julie Taymor.

“When I met with Julie Taymor, I could see she had a new vision for the project”, Schumacher says. “She was excited by the music, by the setting and by the opportunities for staging. She was challenged by the task of re-creating something that theatregoers would know by heart, but she wanted them once again to feel in their heart. We encouraged her not to feel bridled by the look of the movie and to create something wholly original from it.”

Chosen to direct as well as design the look of the production, Taymor immersed herself in the project, discovering unique and exciting ways to overcome obstacles.

Rather than be limited to one particular style, Taymor used a wide range of theatrical styles, conventions and traditions from around the world to tell the story. Handheld puppets, full-body puppets, shadow puppets, masks, elaborate costuming, stilts, kites... no device would be off-limits, as long as it engaged an audience and their imaginations.

Her one central rule was that the performer would never be hidden by the device. “One of the most powerful elements of the film is the rich humanity of the animal characters,” she explains. “I wanted the human being to be an essential part of stylisation. I wanted the audience to marvel at what a human being can do through true technical prowess.”

interview with Julie Taymor

The Lion King around the world

Disney’s THE LION KING has been seen by more than 85 million people around the world, with productions playing on every continent except Antarctica! Find out more about each of the international productions of THE LION KING using the drop down boxes below…

  • UNITED STATES THE MINSKOFF THEATRE, NEW YORK
    United States

    Since opening on Broadway in November 1997, THE LION KING has become the most successful musical in history. It currently plays 8 times a week at the Minskoff Theatre, in the heart of Times Square.

    Find out more
  • MEXICO TELCEL THEATER, MEXICO CITY
    Mexico

    The home of THE LION KING in Mexico City is Telcel Theater, located in one of the largest mixed-use developments in Latin America. The theatre is at the heart of this iconic new complex called Plaza Carso, which also features two world-class museums, a shopping centre, residential and office towers, and an aquarium.

    Find out more
  • SPAIN LOPE DE VEGA THEATRE, MADRID
    Spain

    Situated on Madrid’s iconic Gran Via, the Lope de Vega Theatre has been home to the first Spanish-language production of THE LION KING since 2011. The production is now the longest-running in the country’s history and is truly a landmark in Spain’s capital.

    Find out more
  • CHINA WALT DISNEY GRAND THEATRE, SHANGHAI
    China

    For the first time, the incredible music, drama and grandeur of THE LION KING comes to life in a Mandarin-language live production—exclusively at Walt Disney Grand Theatre in Disneytown.

    Find out more
  • JAPAN THE SHIKI THEATRE HARU, TOKYO
    Japan

    THE LION KING premiered in Tokyo in 1998 and continues to delight audiences around Japan to this day. Two productions are currently running, in Tokyo at the Shiki Theatre Haru and Osaka at the Osaka Shiki Theatre.

    Find out more
  • GERMANY THEATER IM HAFEN, HAMBURG
    Germany

    Located on the edge of Hamburg’s magnificent harbour, the Theater im Hafen Hamburg attracts audiences from across Germany, who travel to the theatre on special LION KING boats. Since opening in 2001, THE LION KING has reigned as Germany’s most successful musical.

    Find out more

Three ways to book

For best availability book for Tuesday to Thursday performances in September and October

By Phone

Call the Theatre Box Office 0844 871 3000

Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge. For calls outside of the
UK: +4402072061177.

Call Disney Tickets 0800 640 8101

Calls to this number are free of charge. Advisers are available from 9am-9pm, 7 days a week.

In Person

Lyceum Theatre 21 Wellington Street
London WC2E 7RQ
Box office open
Monday: 10am - 6pm
Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 8pm
Sunday: 11am - 3pm
Get Directions

PERFORMANCE TIMES

  • 2.30pm Wed, Sat & Sun
  • 7.30pm Tue to Sat

Group Bookings

Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more

HOTEL PACKAGES

Book your visit through Superbreak to add accommodation and travel. Call 01904 754533 or visit the Superbreak website for details.

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