Music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice,
Lego M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer
Book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi
Directed by Julie Taymor
Scenic design by Richard Hudson
Music direction by Richard Montgomery
Choreography by Garth Fagan
On sale until February 28
|Buyi Zama as Rafiki in the long-awaited Perth season of The Lion King|
From its first moment, the colour, movement and sheer theatrical imagination of Taymor’s sub-creation are mesmerising.
The director Julie Taymor’s guiding principle, the “double event” as she calls it, is to see the puppeteers and their performance as well as the creatures they both manipulate and portray. It’s an inspired theatrical decision – and it’s worth remembering just how influential this show is.
The inventiveness continues in the sets; in one virtuoso scene, a spread of blue parachute silk disappears beneath the stage to announce the coming of drought and dearth that are the inevitable result of the murderous Scar’s fratricide and misrule.
All of which emphasise the underlying message of The Lion King, which is, in a sense, ecological. Goodness, truth and love lead to bounty, fecundity and joy. Falsehood, evil and hatred lead to ruin, sterility and misery. It says as much about our planet and us as it does about the lions and their Pridelands.
Nothing is perfect, and this production does suffer from some vocal deficiencies that aren’t as well supported by the sound balance and punch as they could have been.
It’s no deal-breaker though, and may no longer be an issue by the time you join the stampede of visitors to this, the proudest kingdom of them all.
Read the complete review in The West Australian