Unless you have been on holiday in the African savannah for the last few months, exploring elephant graveyards, eating bugs and having no worries for the rest of your days, you can’t have helped but notice that The Lion King is coming to the Bristol Hippodrome.
Rehearsals began in earnest this week, while up the hill from the Hippodrome an exhibition which has just opened at the RWA will whet the appetite of fans of until the curtain rises for opening night on August 31.
Exploring The Lion King takes a look at the musical “from inspiration to realisation”.
In Bristol for 10 weeks only, it features many costumes, and also includes full-scale puppets, original models, costume sketches and behind-the-scenes photographs.
While admiring the real shells and bone beading on Nala’s costume, or the intricately-carved headdresses and complicated models, you can also hear songs from the musical on the looped video which sees director and designer Julie Taymor talk about her work.
When tickets first went on sale for The Lion King, the queue stretched along St Augustine’s Parade almost as far as the Colston Hall, with seasoned theatre goers knowing they had to be quick to secure the best seats near the centre aisle.
In what is now a world famous opening scene, the show starts with a parade of actors with their huge animal costumes along this centre aisle and onto the stage, for the first glimpse of the baby Simba.
It is a stunning sight and with this new exhibition, the magic of the creatives that go into making such a spectacular show can be fully appreciated.
Exploring The Lion King is at the RWA until September 16. Visit www.rwa.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/2012/07/exhibitions-exploring-the-lion-king/.
The Lion King comes to the Bristol Hippodrome between August 31 and November 17. Visit www.atgtickets.com/shows/lion-king-bristol/bristol-hippodrome/.