Lion King musical arrives in Edinburgh

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The secrets of the Lion King musical will be laid bare in a new behind-the-scenes exhibition taking place in the Capital to coincide with the stage show’s Scottish debut.

As lions Simba and Scar prepare to wow theatre-goers at Edinburgh Playhouse this October, costumes and set models from the production will see the City Arts Centre transformed into a treasure trove of collectables from the £3.2 billion smash hit.

Picture: contributed

Picture: contributed

Boasting interactive video touch screens, sketches and designs, Lion King fans will have the chance to view the show’s intricate details up close, while several rare interviews with cast members will also be on show.

Eye-catching puppets, masks, and original photography will help audiences discover how director Julie Taymor, and her creative team, put the ground-breaking production together.

The free exhibition “Exploring the Lion King” will run for 15 weeks at the Market Street venue and open on September 28.

Culture convener Councillor Richard Lewis said momentum was building ahead of the inaugural Scottish performance and the city was “delighted” to host the exhibition.

Picture: contributed

Picture: contributed

“There’s been a huge amount of excitement surrounding the arrival of Disney’s musical since it was ­announced earlier this year that it would be coming to the Edinburgh Playhouse.

“The exhibition will be the perfect complement to the much-loved stage show and is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to see the beautiful costumes and puppets up close and in the most ideal venue in the city.”

Ian O’Riordan, senior curator of arts, based at the City Arts Centre, predicts the interactive show will be a roaring success.

He said: “We are very delighted to host the Lion King exhibition which looks like it will be a really exciting exhibition with the chance to see many of the props and puppets up close.

“It’s not a huge display and will take up only one floor but it is very high-quality material and is targeted at everyone, not specifically children.”

The exhibition has recently been shown in Bristol and London but it is understood Edinburgh is the only destination where it has been “closely tied” with the stage show’s dates.

Mr O’Riordan added: “Our gut feeling is that it’s going to be extremely successful given the nature of the stage show that has been massive across the world, not to mention the film.

“The statistics are mind-blowing for the Lion King and over the years there has been a range of exhibitions at the City Arts Centre that touch on popular culture – including a Star Wars exhibition ten years ago – that reach out to people that don’t normally attend museums and galleries.”

We revealed in January how people queued around the block to be the first to get their paws on tickets for the musical which runs for three months from October.