It has been resident at the Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End since 1999 but the Lion King is to finally explore the rest of the UK with its first ever UK tour. After 4 years of planning, Disney Theatricals announced that the tour will take the spectacular show to over 10 cities in the next 2 and a half years. The tour begins this August with an 11 week residency at the Bristol Hippodrome, a theatre in which Disney has often previewed its shows outside of London. The official run will begin on 6th September (with previews from 31st August) before packing up on 17th November and heading north for the festive season. The show will then run as the Palace Theatre, Manchester’s Christmas production but will run well in to the new year. The show is expected to begin running in Manchester from 6th December – 31st March with previews beginning on 1st December. In a statement from Disney Theatricals, Thomas Schumacer said:
“Following years of planning, and after receiving the counsel of some very smart friends in the British theatre world, we are delighted to be launching a production that conveys Julie Taymor’s epic vision and at a moment that feels absolutely right.”
No ticket pricing is available at this preset time and we don’t expect to know the rest of the tour dates until later in the year but it shows just how much appeal the show still has. Tickets for the production’s dates in Bristol will go on sale on Monday 22 February and tickets for Manchester go on sale on 27 February 2012.
This does raise one interesting question. Does it mean that the show’s ticket sales in London are drying up and Disney are planning to move out of their West End home, maybe even bring in something new. Mary Poppins finished in the West End and then toured the UK, visiting such cities as Manchester and Birmingham and maybe this is the same plan for the Lion King. We will keep you posted as we learn more.