Disney’s The Lion King UK & Ireland Tour welcome new cast members including Kyle Richardson as ‘Simba’

The UK and Ireland Tour of Disney’s The Lion King will welcome 12 new members to its cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers this winter. The award winning landmark musical is currently playing a season at Manchester Palace until 11 March, where over 300,000 people will experience the show during the only North West dates. 

The newcomers join a talented international company from 17 countries around the world. 

Kyle Richardson will be stepping into the role of Simba. From St Kitts in the Caribbean, Kyle has previously performed in the show as part of the ensemble in Madrid and is in the current UK & Ireland production. 

THE LION KING also welcomes Alex Bloomer as Ed and Candida Mosoma as Shenzi and current ensemble cast member Jorell Coiffic-Kamall will be taking on the role of Banzai. The ensemble cast will be joined by Tanisha-Mae Brown, Asmara Cammock, Zodwa Mrasi, Felipe Flores, Reece McKenzie, Aphiwe Nyezi, Peace Nzirawa and Ebby Sama. The new cast will join the production from Sunday 11 December.

The newly announced cast members join principals Matthew Forbes as Zazu, Jean-Luc Guizonne as Mufasa, Richard Hurst as Scar, Nokwanda Khuzwayo as Nala, Alan McHale as Timon, Thandazile Soni as Rafiki and Carl Sanderson as Pumbaa.

The UK & Ireland tour cast also includes: Khanyisani Beato, Tanisha-Mae Brown, Mamido Bomboko Souchu, Asmara Cammock, Bethany Chan, Tau-En Chien, Elisa Chou, Tevin Daniel, Lwandolwethu Dennis Bam, Tim Driesen, Felipe Flores, Oraine Frater, Adebunmi Gabriel, Brian Gilligan, Daniel Griffith, Gavin Hart, Caleaf Henson, Dillan Hope Suttle, Olivia Jones, Melvin Le Blanc, Reece Mackenzie, Zanele Mazibuko, Zodwa Mrasi, Zanele Ndlovu, Buhle Nkomo, Aphiwe Nyezi, Peace Runyararo Nzirawa, Ebby Sama, Cristiane Santos De Jesus,  Francesca Thompson, Vuyelwa Laura Tshona, Ricardo Walker, Maria Yim and Bukiwe Zinganto.

The tour is currently in Manchester until 11 March before seasons in Sunderland, Bristol and Birmingham

The story of THE LION KING roars into life using spectacular masks, puppets and costumes to tell the story of Simba’s epic adventures, as he struggles with the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming king.

Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation of THE LION KING opened on Broadway in 1997 and 25 global productions in nine different languages have been created since then (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese). THE LION KING is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher. 

The previous tour of THE LION KING broke attendance records across the nation, including at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Since the UK premiere in 1999, THE LION KING London has entertained more than 18 million theatregoers and is the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time. 

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. 

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