HoneyKids review: The Lion King in Singapore 2018

The Lion King has roared back onto stage and this is one theatre performance you're not going to want to miss this summer...

Disney’s The Lion King is back on stage in Singapore, and if you’re looking for a visual treat for the family this summer, or are thinking of surprising your other half with a different kind of date night, you absolutely need this musical smash hit on your radar. From the moment the curtains rise until the very last encore, the dazzling designs, powerful performances and phenomenal sets will have you mesmerised – and most definitely singing along!  What did we love about it? Read on to find out…

The timeless storyline
Now to make you feel old… the original Disney movie version of The Lion King first burst onto the silver screen 24 years ago, and the musical adaptation made its debut on Broadway in July 1997! Despite its age, not only does The Lion King still feel fresh, but as we ourselves get older we take more away from the storyline than we probably did back when we were cubs. Watching it as an adult, it’s clear how relatable this family-orientated story is, and how literal the circle of life becomes. Profound. The tale is filled with love, bravery, deception, less-than-savoury family members and kids who NEVER listen, so it absolutely strikes a chord, for sure. Of course, the younger members of the audience won’t be looking for real life parallels, but they will be utterly wowed by the beautiful sets, clever puppetry, belly-laugh moments and the catchy tunes.

The humour
Not only is this musical heartwarming, it’s hilarious at times too. It goes without saying that Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog are the characters that produce the funniest moments. Expect plenty of Singapore references during the production, with mentions of Jurong Bird Park and prose packed with local lingo.

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Nala and Simba. Photography courtesy of The Lion King.

The stellar cast
Audience interaction is a big part of the Singapore production, and the clever international casting has certainly hit the nail on the acting head. Notable favourites include the awesome Ntsepa Pitjeng as Rafiki, (she also performed the role in the USA, UK, Brazil, and Switzerland), Brit Jonathan Andrew Hume is unmissable as Simba (those muscles also deserve a mention of their own…), and South African up-and-coming star, Noxolo Dlamini as Nala is absolutely pitch perfect. We also loved New Zealander Jamie McGregor as Timon and South African Pierre van Heerden as Pumbaa: comedy genius! Prepare to be bowled over by the young Filipino cast members who play young Nala and young Simba: the roles are filled by a team of small superstars from Manilla.

Review-The-Lion-King-Rafiki

Rafiki. Photography courtesy of The Lion King

The tunes
It goes without saying that the classic tunes associated with The Lion King are all in there. Whether you’re a seasoned karaoke pro, or a reluctant shower singer, you’ll find yourself singing along. The music is infectious (and we’re still humming the tunes days later!).

The sets, puppets and costumes
Seeing is believing when it comes to the visuals of The Lion King, and the whole theatre becomes the stage throughout the production (hot tip: go to the toilet before the show starts as it’s hard to escape mid-scene!). Life-sized elephants and giraffes, stunning backdrops and seriously cool lighting really draw the audience into the atmospherics and fun, and the merger of human and animal using puppetry and costume is, quite frankly, fantastic.

The verdict
Honestly? It would be a big shame to miss it. Bring your family (it’s pitched as suitable for audiences age six and upwards), bring your friends – or even ditch your family and ditch your friends. It doesn’t matter who you decide to bring along, make sure YOU pounce on tix and see it while it’s in the Lion City.

The deets
When: Now until 23 September 2018, various performance times
Where: Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands
Cost: From $65 – $230 per person (including babies in arms). Disney recommends its productions for children age six years and above.
www.marinabaysands.com

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