As far as shows in London go, last night it was the big one…
The Lion King
I’ve wanted to see this show for years and last night my dream came true thanks to a lovely Birthday present from my good friend Jane (thank you!). She even got excellent seats at a bargain price.
And so it began.. Two seconds into the opening number – The Circle of Life – I was already bawling with joy. The puppetry is amazing and they’ve really got the way the animals move down to a fine art, especially the giraffe, antelope and elephants. The audience was extremely appreciative with gasps of amazement when the elephant moved down through the audience. I loved the little lion cub that is revealed at the climax of the opening number.
Then the sangoma character – Rafiki – started up in Zulu. It felt like coming home! She began with a loud ‘Sanibonani!’ and I had to stop myself shouting out ‘Yebo!’ in response (am so used to doing so in South Africa). The children in the audience loved her clicks and chatter, but for me that was just normal talk and transported me back to the Valley of 1000 Hills in an instant.
Although the cast is made up of performers from all over the world, the Zulu actors from Durban totally stole the show and blew everyone else out of the water in terms of voice projection and quality, in my opinion. The best voice was Rafiki (see photo), the Baboon/Sangoma character. Her rendition of ‘He lives in you’ brought more tears to my eyes. Possibly because it makes me think of Father God as well as for the rousing melody.
Another highlight was when the young Simba danced out and Older Simba swung in to join Timon and Pumbaa. Andile Gumbi (above) was awesome as Simba and took the show to a whole new level. 😉
Although I didn’t understand every word, I know enough Zulu to appreciate the show on a different level to the rest of the audience and I so love the fact that one of the best shows in the world right now is sung mostly in Zulu!
If you haven’t seen it, go as soon as you can. Hayibo! You won’t be disappointed.