A THEATRE box office is being doubled in size to cope with an expected stampede for tickets to see The Lion King.
The number of sales positions at the Playhouse has been doubled from four to eight ahead of briefs for the hit musical going on sale tomorrow.
Venue bosses hope the specially extended foyer desk will meet with what is expected to be unprecedented demand for tickets.
A spokesman said tickets will go on sale at 8am, three hours before they go on general release.
He said: “We made a promise to our audience that the Playhouse will be Scotland’s home for the very best of Broadway, so the arrival of Disney’s The Lion King is hopefully a sign that we are committed to that promise.”
Edinburgh is expected to do a roaring trade on the back of the colourful musical opening in the city, with early estimates suggesting as much as £6 million could be pumped into the local community. Hotels, restaurants offering pre-theatre deals and the airport are all expected to get a bounce from the production’s arrival.
Disney chiefs yesterday said they believed the colourful production’s magnetic lure is such it can attract audiences to the mane attraction from as far away as Iceland, Scandinavia and Ireland.
Stephen Crocker, of Disney’s theatrical group, said: “The appeal of The Lion King is that it is a show everyone knows and loves, so when it plays in a city it draws people from far and wide. We often find people travel from overseas to see a new production and that is what we are expecting to happen here in Edinburgh.”
David Birrell, chief executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce welcomed its arrival, saying it will make Edinburgh the pride of Scottish theatre land.
He said: “The Lion King’s visit for such a long run is great news for Edinburgh, especially as it is its only Scottish destination. The celebrated show will attract a lot of interest and be a fabulous tourism boost.”
Launched yesterday at the Greenside Place venue, the show is told through a spectacular mix of puppetry, masks, music and movement and has proved to be a sell-out in more than 15 countries worldwide.
Adapted from Disney’s 1994 blockbuster of the same name, it is one of only five musicals in theatre history to have played for more than ten years on both Broadway and in the West End, and has now been seen by more than 65 million people.
The show opens on October 12 and runs until January 18. Tickets cost from £25 to £75.
THE musical has won rave reviews since it first opened at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, back in July 1997. Audiences given a taster preview were knocked out by its high-energy mix of music and drama ahead of it moving to Broadway, New York. The sell-out London show has seen constant demand for tickets.