Singin’ in the Plain: The Lion King gets the Bristol Hippodrome roaring!

Review by David Parker

For me to write this piece and say something like ‘This is an amazing family night out’ would be like someone writing about the spectacular intensity and regularity of how it gets dark at night. It’s obvious that a Disney production at a majestic venue such as the Bristol Hippodrome is going to hit the spot.
But why is it a great night out and why should you be spending your hard earned on a night out at a live action show when you can use your Disney Plus account and not have any of the train delays and Clean Air Zone fees? Well, read on!
Essentially, it’s pretty much everything you want from a family night out at the Theatre. There’s always something going on in terms of the moving animals and spectacular costumes which really do bring the show and the story alive. It gives you the Africa that has been brought to us over the years by icons like David Attenborough, much more than a 10-day all-inclusive at the Sahara Hotel in Tunisia would.
I’ve mentioned music briefly but there is a real commitment to doing it right including two theatre boxes, one each side, dedicated to the percussion section alone and the orchestra compliments the visuals seamlessly.
The fact that there’s exceptional performances from all the characters is a given but there’s even a nod to the music hall tradition of entertainment with Mufasa’s trusty confidant, the hornbill Zazu, offering a few pop culture references and Bristol based jokes to help jolly the thing along. There were even a few ‘Boos’ for Scar, the villain of the piece at the Curtain Call 
The music you know is all there including ‘ I Just Can’t Wait to be King’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’ which are even more enjoyable than in the original animated version. Of course, this is testament to the music and songs of Elton John and Tim Rice.

On my way to the theatre, I saw a young girl with a blindfold on walking towards the theatre being led by her family. You could tell that it was her birthday and yet her family hadn’t let her in on the surprise but was beside herself with delight when she saw what they were going to see… and this is what this show does for people.
Take your kids, take your grandkids and even your neighbour’s kids. They will be more excited than if you’d bought them a bottle of Prime.
The Lion King runs from 18th May – 1st July at The Bristol Hippodrome