Theatre

THE LION KING WELCOMES NEW CAST FOR WEST END RETURN: KAYI USHE IS ‘SIMBA’

The West End production of DISNEY’S THE LION KING will welcome 14 new members to its cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers when it reopens its doors this summer. The award-winning landmark musical is set to return to the Lyceum Theatre on 29th July 2021, where the production has been seen by over 16 million people in the last two decades.

The newcomers join a uniquely international company from 17 countries around the world, led by George Asprey as Scar, David Blake as Banzai, Janique Charles as Nala, Gugwana Dlamini as Rafiki, Shaun Escoffery as Mufasa, Gary Jordan as Zazu, Jamie McGregor as Timon, Melone M’Kenzy as Shenzi and Mark Roper as Pumbaa. 

Disney’s The Lion King. Photo by Brinkoff and Mogenburg

Londoner Kayi Ushe, will take on the iconic role of ‘Simba’. Kayi joins the show having performed in The Book of MormonMotown The Musical and Crazy For You, as well as touring extensively as ‘Lola’ in Kinky Boots.

THE LION KING also welcomes Phil Adèle, who will make his West End debut in the role of ‘Ed’, and new ensemble cast members from seven countries around the world: Gesztenye Botos, Reece Darlington-Delaire, Shak Gabbidon-Williams, Ryesha Higgs, Candice Holdford, Angela Marie Hurst, Duane Lamonte, Jane Carla Leynes, Deja Linton, Jonathan Lutwyche, Kearabetswe Mogotsi and Taela Yeomans-Brown.

Shak Gabbidon-Williams and Recce Darlington-Delaire previously played ‘Young Simba’ (Shak between 2007-2008 and Reece between 2008-2009) and have returned to the company years later as ensemble members. Angela Marie-Hurst and Deja Linton have both previously played ‘Young Nala’ (Angela in 2001 and Deja in 2009-10), now rejoining the show as ensemble members.

Since the premiere of Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation on Broadway in 1997, THE LION KING has entertained more than 100 million theatregoers in 25 productions worldwide. When the show closed its doors on Sunday 15th March 2020 it was the West End’s best-selling stage production and the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time. 

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, THE LION KING has made theatrical history, with six productions worldwide running for 15 or more years.  The musical uses breathtaking masks and puppetry to create pure theatrical magic. At its heart is the powerful and moving story of Simba – the epic adventure of his journey from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands.

Plans to reopen THE LION KING at the Lyceum Theatre on 29 July 2021 have been made in accordance with the Government’s latest directives, are therefore subject to change and are made on the understanding that social distancing guidelines will be withdrawn to allow full capacity audiences. The live entertainment industry continues to seek support for contingency insurance to be made available in the event of any further unscheduled closures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Disney’s THE LION KING

Lyceum Theatre21 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7RQ 

Ticket information

  • Disney pre-sale:  Monday 22nd March 2021 
  • Performances at The Lyceum Theatre, London are on sale from 31st March 2021
  • Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.thelionking.co.uk / 0800 912 6971
  • Booking until 3rd  April 2022 for individuals and 22nd October 2022 for groups 
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