Wales What's On

The Lion King at Wales Millennium Centre

The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland and Wales Millennium Centre have today announced that Disney’s The Lion King will return to the Centre’s Donald Gordon Theatre in summer 2020.

The iconic musical will come to Cardiff for seven weeks from 9 July to 29 August 2020. Tickets go on sale in September 2019 and patrons can sign up for priority access to tickets at either www.thelionking.co.uk or www.wmc.org.uk/thelionking from today (Monday 29 July 2019).

The UK cities of The Lion King tour are exclusively supported by VeryMe Rewards from Vodafone UK. Vodafone customers will be able to access the pre-sale tickets through the My Vodafone app 24 hours before they become available elsewhere, on Thursday 5 September 2019.

Over 130,000 people experienced the production across a 10-week, record-breaking season when it last visited the Centre in 2014, generating an estimated £5 million for the local economy. 

Graeme Farrow, Artistic & Creative Director at Wales Millennium Centre, said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming this incredible musical back to Wales Millennium Centre next summer. It’s a timeless production which captures the imagination of audiences – both young and old.”

This year, The Lion King celebrates an incredible 20 years in the West End. The musical had its premiere in London on 19 October 1999 at the Lyceum Theatre, which remains its home in London. 

Additional ticket information

Wales Millennium Centre Platinum and Gold Members will be able to purchase pre-sale tickets from 10am on Friday 6 September 2019 and Promise Members can buy tickets from 10am on Monday 9 September 2019.

The official Disney and Wales Millennium Centre priority on sale opens at 8am on Monday 16 September 2019 (please note that this is online only and sign up is required). 

Tickets will be going on general sale online from 8am, and available from 9am on the phone and in person on Tuesday 17 September 2019, with demand expected to be huge. 

Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.thelionking.co.uk or www.wmc.org.uk

Relaxed / Accessible performances

The Lion King will also be presented as a dedicated Relaxed Performance at the Centre on 20 August 2020 at 1.30pm. The Lion King is committed to creating a friendly and inclusive audience experience. Having now hosted five Autism-Friendly performances in London, the landmark musical is delighted to be presenting a Relaxed Performance in each city it visits on the tour. 

Performances are specially adapted to be accessible to a wide range of audiences such as those with autism, learning difficulties or other sensory and communication needs, with extra trained staff on hand and dedicated quiet areas inside the theatre should anyone need to leave their seat. All patrons who feel this performance might suit their specific needs are warmly encouraged to attend.  

An internationally celebrated stage adaptation

Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation of The Lion King opened on Broadway in 1997 and 25 global productions have now been seen by more than 100 million people. The Lion King is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher. 

The show has been performed in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of The Lion King can currently be seen on Broadway, in London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo and Sapporo, Madrid, Daegu in South Korea and on tour across North America - a total of eight productions running concurrently across the globe.

Having played in more than 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, The Lion King’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.   

The previous tour of The Lion King broke attendance records across the nation and the 2019 tour coincides with The Lion King celebrating 20 years at London’s Lyceum Theatre. Since the UK premiere in 1999, The Lion King has entertained more than 16 million theatregoers and remains the West End’s best-selling stage production and the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time. 

With a cast of more than 50 actors, singers and dancers, the story of The Lion King is miraculously brought to life using masks, puppets and striking costumes to tell the story of Simba's epic adventures as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming king. 

The stunning artistry of the production is the work of a team of designers which drew on diverse cultural influences to recreate the rich colours and vast expanses of the African savanna in this daring and inspiring reinvention of one of the most successful animated feature films of all time. 

Julie Taymor, one of the world’s most innovative directors, brought a vast array of disciplines to The Lion King, including extensive experience staging epic theatre and opera productions, exploring classic myths through ritualised puppetry, mask, and movement. The Lion King was the first musical Taymor directed in the commercial theatre and she made Broadway history by becoming the first woman to win the Tony Award® for Best Director of a Musical.   

The Broadway show’s full creative team, which won five Tony Awards® for its work on The Lion King, reunited in 1999 to recreate the show in London. Julie Taymor and Michael Curry created hundreds of masks and puppets. 

Scenic design is by British designer Richard Hudson and lighting is by Donald Holder. Costume design is by Julie Taymor, and choreography by Garth Fagan. The book was adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated feature and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the screenplay. 

The original score from the animated film was expanded for the stage and now features 15 musical numbers.  As well as writing completely new songs, South African composer Lebo M created an evocative blend of African rhythms and chorales, with additional material by Julie Taymor and Mark Mancina. 

Elton John and Tim Rice have added three new numbers to the five that they wrote for the award-winning score of the animated film. The resulting sound of The Lion King is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, including the Academy Award®-winning Can You Feel The Love Tonight and the haunting Shadowland. 

Ticket information

VeryMe Rewards by Vodafone presale:  Thursday 5 September 2019, 8am

Wales Millennium Centre Platinum and Gold Members: Friday 6 September 2019, 10am

Priority sign up closes: Monday 9 September 2019, 11.59pm

Wales Millennium Centre Promise Members: Monday 9 September 2019, 10am

Disney and Wales Millennium Centre Priority On Sale: Monday 16 September 2019 8am

General sale: Tuesday 17 September 2019 (8am online/9am phones & in person)

Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.thelionking.co.uk or www.wmc.org.uk

Performance information

Previews: Thursday 9 July – Sunday 12 July 2020 

Premiere/Press Night: Tuesday 14 July 2020, 7.30pm

Signed Performances: Thursday 23 July & Thursday 13 August 2020 (7.30pm)

Audio Described Performances: Thursday 30 July & Tuesday 18 August 2020 (7.30pm)

Captioned Performances: Thursday 6 August & Tuesday 25 August 2020 (7.30pm)

Relaxed Performance: Thursday 20 August 2020, 1.30pm

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