The Lion King's 10th Anniversary

08 July 2009


(London - 18th October 2009)  A star-studded audience of celebrities from film, television, radio, stage, music, art, fashion and politics came together with members of the show’s original creative team including director Julie Taymor to celebrate THE LION KING’s 10th Anniversary in London.

Stars who walked the “yellow carpet” in front of London’s historic Lyceum Theatre included legendary actor (and voice of ‘Mufasa’ from the animated film of THE LION KING) James Earl Jones, Cherie Blair, Gok Wan, Justin Lee Collins, Donna Air, Greg Wise, Hugh Bonneville, Debbie Allen, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Beverley Knight, Lisa Snowdon, Pam Hogg and Phylicia Rashad. Also joining the celebrations were former cast members from THE LION KING Vanessa White (now in the chart-topping band The Saturdays), Javine Hylton and rapper Master Shortie.

The audience, which also included over 250 former cast members from the London production of THE LION KING, greeted the 10th Anniversary performance with an unanimous standing ovation, applauding the show’s record-breaking first decade in the West End. Director Julie Taymor appeared on stage along with other members of the show’s creative team for the final curtain call.

Following the performance, invited guests joined the stars of THE LION KING for an exclusive party at London’s fashionable Buddha Bar. In the decade since its star-studded premiere in 1999, THE LION KING has been seen by over 8 million people in London at over 4200 performances and now ranks among the top ten longest-running shows in West End history.

Julie Taymor’s internationally acclaimed stage adaptation of Disney’s 1994 animated film premiered on Broadway in November 1997, winning the Tony Award® for ‘Best Musical’ and since that time, the show has been seen by over 50 million people in cities around the world. In addition to the record-breaking productions in London and New York, THE LION KING can currently be seen in Paris, Tokyo, Hamburg, Las Vegas and on tours of both the US and Japan, with a new production opening in Singapore in 2010.

The score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from the animated film along with three original songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from an album inspired by the animated film, "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. The resulting sound of THE LION KING score is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, embracing the Academy award-winning “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and the haunting “Shadowlands.”

Julie Taymor, along with Michael Curry, has created hundreds of masks and puppets for THE LION KING. Scenic design is by Richard Hudson; Lighting design is by Donald Holder; Costume design is by Julie Taymor. Choreography is by Garth Fagan. The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated feature and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the screenplay of THE LION KING.

Other members of the creative team include: Steve Canyon Kennedy, sound design; Michael Ward, hair and makeup design; Jay Binder, casting; Joseph Church, music director; Robert Elhai, David Metzger and Bruce Fowler, orchestrators.

THE LION KING is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.

Box Office number: 0844 844 0005

Celebrities and VIP's in attendance were:

Adrian Lester, Beverley Knight, Cherie Blair, David CameronSamantha Cameron, David Morrissey, Esther Freud, Donna Air, Emily MaitlisFay Ripley, Greg Wise, Gok Wan, Hermione Norris, Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Hynes, Jo JoynerJustin Lee Collins, Lisa Snowdon,  Naomie HarrisNatasha Hamilton, Pam Hogg, Phil Spencer, Shaznay LewisThomas Sangster.

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Photos of the evening were provided by
Helen Maybanks

Donna Air
Donna AirBeverley Knight Gok WanCherie Blair
Donna AirBeverley Knight Gok WanCherie Blair
Faye RipleyGreg WiseDavid and Samantha CameronJessica Hynes
Faye RipleyGreg WiseDavid and Samantha CameronJessica Hynes
Kelle BryanLisa SnowdonHermione NorrisNatasha Hamilton
Kelle BryanLisa SnowdonHermione NorrisNatasha Hamilton
Phil SpencerPam HoggThomas SangsterAndrea Mclean
Phil SpencerPam HoggThomas SangsterAndrea Mclean
Adrian LesterHugh Bonneville and Lucinda EvansJo Joyner
Adrian LesterHugh Bonneville and Lucinda EvansJo Joyner