The Lion King celebrates its second birthday at the Lyceum Oct. 19, and continues to defy those who have predicted (as they do every year, according to SOLT chief executive Rupert Rhymes) the decline and fall of the commercial West End.
You can hardly get more commercial than The Lion King, whose blend of Animal Magic and Hamlet has proved enormously popular all over the world. As Julie Taymor, the creative force behind the show's success, has pointed out, the musical has a cross-cultural appeal which makes it accessible to children and adults in Asia and - obviously, given the setting - Africa as well as America and Europe.
Although the immediate aftermath of the Twin Towers attack on Sept. 11 saw a number of tickets become available, the queues for returns at the box office have themselves now returned - as have the ticket touts, always a sure sign of healthy sales figures - to the Lyceum.
At this rate The Lion King's second birthday is likely to be one of many over the next decade, as the tale of a young Lion's struggle to claim his rightful inheritance, against a background of African splendor and savagery, continues to be told in one of London's largest and most historic theatres.
Lyceum Box Office: 0870 243 9000.
—by Paul Webb Theatrenow