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'Circle of Life'
'Circle of Life'
Backstage
On stage
Amazing props

The Lion King

Thursday, May 15, 2003
Here is your backstage pass to this magical musical that is rocking London … soon to be hitting Sydney.

Disney's animated version of The Lion King won many hearts when it was released in 1994. The story of Simba, the lion cub destined to be king, appealed to people of all ages.

In 1997 The Lion King stage show opened on Broadway and is still running. It has since opened in London, Toronto, Tokyo, Fukuoka and Hamburg and a touring company is moving around North America. It continues to attract full houses — around 15 million people have seen the show and it is said to have taken around $US900 million at the box office.

The Broadway production received the 1999 Best Musical Show Album Grammy and the London production has won two Olivier awards and the Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year in 1999. Between them the productions have won 30 major awards.

The film music score has been expanded and features 15 musical numbers. The score is a fusion of western popular music and the sounds and rhythms of Africa. Eight songs were written by Elton John and Tim Rice — five were featured in the film.

There are 25 colourful animals, birds, fish and insects presented in the show — giraffes are eight metres tall and a trick mouse is just 12.7cms. The elephant is nearly 4 metres long, 3.5 metres tall and 2.7 metres across the ears. The 11 principals and ensemble of 35 singers and dancers wear an array of amazing masks made from 338 kgs of silicone. A total of 100 rod, shadow and full-size puppets play an important part — they took 37,000 hours to design and build and their maintenance is crucial.

Around 148 people are at work at any one time — there is so much going on behind-the-scenes to ensure the program goes ahead without a hitch.

Come October, Australia will have its chance to see this extravaganza of music, colour, amazing costumes and choreography. Lions, elephants, zebras, baboons, graceful gazelles, giraffes and lots of humans will be treading the boards at Sydney's Capitol Theatre and will no doubt delight audiences here as it has the world-over.

Location

London, England.

Cost

Qantas Holidays is offering two-night packages to see The Lion King, including return airfares and twin-share accommodation at Hotel Ibis, World Square starting at $531 from Melbourne; $547 from Brisbane; $647 from Adelaide; $1023 from Perth and $1042 from Darwin, per person. Prices include charges/taxes and are current at time of recording but may vary at time of booking. Seasonal surcharges and conditions apply.

More information

Qantas Holidays: Ph: 13 14 15

The Lion King Hotline: Ph: 1300 650 300

Ticketmaster7: Ph: 13 61 00
www.ticketmaster7.com.au

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