The Lion King at Bristol Hippodrome 'a thrilling show'
AUDIENCES were wowed at the opening weekend of Disney's The Lion King at the Hippodrome.
Capacity crowds of almost 1,900 people watched three breathtaking performances of the multi award- winning musical at the theatre in the city centre on Saturday and Sunday.
It was the first time UK audiences had seen the show performed outside of London.
Bristol is the first stop of the tour for the production, which will run at the Hippodrome for 11 weeks before moving on to Manchester.
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The musical features an international cast of 52 performers from 17 different countries who rehearsed in Bristol for the past eight weeks ahead of the opening.
Adapted from Disney's classic film, the production boasts glorious colours and stunning effects set to the enchanting rhythms of Africa.
Members of the audience were running out of superlatives for the show as they left the theatre following the sold-out matinee performance on Saturday.
As families left their seats following two-and-a-half hours of entertainment and headed for the exit doors, they excitedly described the performance as "amazing" and "incredible".
One satisfied customer was Hippodrome regular Margaret Abraham, 63, from Old Sodbury.
She said The Lion King was one of the best shows she had seen at the theatre, which she has been visiting for decades.
Ms Abraham said: "It definitely lived up to the hype. The Hippodrome always comes out on top. It might have a smaller stage than some of the London theatres but it's brilliant how they arrange their productions. I fought to keep the theatre open all those years ago."
Paul Taylor, the theatre's assistant general manager, said: "It has been a fantastic weekend to work at the theatre. To witness the audiences reaction to such a spectacular show has been amazing and we can't wait until the official opening night this Thursday. It's definitely the most thrilling show I've seen here and I'll be watching it as many times as I can during the next 10 weeks."
The theatre's general manager, Christiaan de Villiers, said: "We have been thrilled by the response from audiences of all ages at our first four performances, with sell-out crowds giving the show a heartfelt standing ovation."
The stage version of the smash-hit Disney film about a young lion cub growing into adulthood was created by Tony Award-winning director and designer Julie Taymor who, together with designer Michael Curry, created the show's 232 puppets, representing its extended animal kingdom.