I waited to review the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe until I had seen Lion King specifically because of the similarity in costumes. While I love the store of the LW&W, the costumes were done much better in the Lion King. Don’t get me wrong, that was not a surprise I was expecting them to be amazing, but what I really realized is that both these shows are well-suited to a younger age. Maybe LW&W is too old for some kids, but I think Lion King would be more enjoyable to a child than to me. I enjoyed it on an intellectual and, in a way, spiritual level, but I really prefer when I like a show for the show itself rather than it’s theatrical excellence. I know that often the two coincide, but it seems they are not mutually exclusive.
Anyways on to the plays. LW&W follows the plot of the movie almost exactly and I liked that trees moved and the lion was a puppet with 3 men (I think) who then had a magnified voice (this was actually similar to a scene in the Lion King where Mufasa talks to Simba from the grave). What is good about both these is the power it conveys. When the voice is powerful, so is the “person.” I really don’t have a lot to say about this except I liked it in the three-sixty theater, but am glad I sat where I did – perfect view which I wouldn’t have had if I was sitting directly across from my seat. The best part was the way the animation/lights were done. There was a circle above the stage that acted as a screen for different backdrops and narrative scenes. They would put up the inside of a tent when the characters were in a tent, woods when the character were in woods, etc… The actors in general were good though Lucy annoyed me (as she always does – so I think that’s the character not actor). I really enjoyed the witches performance.
For the Lion King, the theater has clearly had set design in the theater itself to accompany the show (similar to Wicked). It was magnificent. My seat was ok (despite paying more than my excellent seat to Wicked). I’m surprised it is so expensive to see the Lion King since mostly it’s family with kids that is going, but then I guess if people are paying it then there is no reason to reduce the price. The programme was also more expensive than the others I’ve seen (8 GBP compared to 4 or 5).