Meet Julie Taymor, Director of The Lion King
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.”
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
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
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
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
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
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
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