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Hakuna Matata roars into Edinburgh

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It’s been four years in the making and now the wait is over as one of the hottest tickets to hit Scotland has opened at the Edinburgh Playhouse.

The multi-award-winning musical stage production of The Lion King is based on the classic 1994 Disney animation. It brings the Serengeti Plains to life in dazzling style, complete with costumes, puppetry and songs including Circle of Life.

But it’s not just me who can’t wait. I’ve been chatting to my colleagues Amy and Aldona in the office and they’re a step ahead of me, having already got their tickets.

Amy booked her tickets back in April and said she feels like she’s had a lifetime of counting down the weeks and had the Hakuna Matata song going through her head ever since.

But as her booking is not until the end of November, the wait to see how the African plains are brought to life continues. “I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll have to hold my horses a little longer (or should that be antelopes?), but I’ve had a little taste of what to expect at a unique exhibition at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre.”

Aldona too has her ticket at the ready – she’ll be singing along next week – but she’s already stopped by the free Exploring The Lion King interactive exhibition to get a taste of the kind of thing to expect on stage.

“It was intriguing, to say the least, to see the craftsmanship behind The Lion King with the intricate details of everything from masks and costumes to original sketches and maquettes. It’s not easy to envision the graceful gazelles leaping across the stage as they are held by their puppeteer dancers or to comprehend how a 13 ft tall elephant moves on the stage during the play.”

The puppets and costumes have all been created by the Tony award-winning director and designer Julie Taymor and are based on actual examples of African culture and Balinese puppetry and movement.

Dancers recreate the African plains in The Lion King

Dancers recreate the African plains in The Lion King

The exhibition continues until 12 January and The Lion King is at the Edinburgh Playhouse run until 18 January, but tickets are selling fast so don’t miss out.

Right, I’m off to the box office


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