New Simba announced for Disney’s The Lion King UK & Ireland tour
Nick Afoa will be joining the touring production of THE LION KING from 30 April. Afoa is currently starring in the role in London’s West End, where he has performed as Simba for three years after making his stage debut in the Australian production of THE LION KING in 2013.
Not unlike his character in THE LION KING, Afoa has had a journey to take his place on stage. The New Zealand-born, Auckland-raised performer had a promising rugby career with the All Blacks until he was sidelined by injury. After recovering and dedicating himself to his theatre career, nearly a decade later the 30 year-old beat 400 other hopefuls to the role of Simba in the Australian production. Footage of Nick Afoa can be downloaded here. Images of Nick Afoa as Simba and the tour production can be downloaded here and here.
He is currently in rehearsal with the touring cast and will appear in the production as it starts its engagement at the Alhambra, Bradford. The tour will continue on to Cardiff, Southampton and Manchester with further dates to be announced in due course. THE LION KING UK & Ireland tour opened in Bristol on 13 September 2019 to rave reviews and is currently at the Edinburgh Playhouse until 18 April.
With a cast of more than 50 actors, singers and dancers, the story of The Lion King is miraculously brought to life using masks, puppets and striking costumes to tell the story of Simba’s epic adventures as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming king.
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 Savannah in this daring and inspiring reinvention of one of the most successful animated feature films of all time.
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.
ALHAMBRA THEATRE, BRADFORD
Thursday 30 April – Saturday 20 June 2020
WALES MILLENIUM CENTRE, CARDIFF
Thursday 9 July – Saturday 29 August 2020
Thursday 3 September – Saturday 10 October 2020
PALACE THEATRE MANCHESTER
Thursday 22 October 2020 – Sunday 31 January 2021
FOLLOW WEST END WILMA