One of the biggest, most ambitious musical shows of all time The Lion King (based on Disney’s animated hit) is starting to take shape as preparations build towards its South African opening later this month. Both the lavish set and production teams from around the world have arrived in South Africa and are working with local craftsmen and artisans to create this country’s (and the African continent’s) most ambitious theatrical project.
SABC is one of the proud sponsors of this phenomenal production with an-all South African cast. A six-part documentary of The Making of the Lion King will be broadcast on SABC2 from 27 May to 01 July at 21:00.
While elements of the production are being created and built in Pretoria, hundreds of builders and craftsmen are working around the clock to create a beautiful home for the show at Johannesburg’s Montecasino Teatro.
The musical stage version of the Disney picture has drawn rave reviews for its dazzling special effects and staging and for the inspired music by Elton John, with lyrics by Tim Rice, and South Africa’s own Lebo M.
“The SABC is proud to be associated with a production of this nature as it assists us in promoting our vision of Broadcasting for Total Citizen Empowerment. The mere fact that the cast is South African goes a long way in transferring skills to the country and hence empowers our citizen,’ said Kaizer Kganyago, Head: SABC Group Communications.
It won six Tony Awards in 1998, including the first ever best director to a female director, Julie Taymor, who will travel to South Africa to stage the production.
South Africa will be the 10th country to host the production in the year that the show celebrates its 10th anniversary on Broadway. It is also the first production in the world which will be entirely cast from the country it is playing in.
Disney’s The Lion King in South Africa will be co-produced by Lebo M and Pieter Toerien.