It is time – 2 weeks left until The Lion King roars into the Etihad Arena stage in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Running from November 16 to December 10, the musical is set to provide the audience with an unprecedented theatrical experience as they witness the award-winning production of friendship, love and hope. The cast has already marked their arrival as Rafiki performed ‘The Circle of Life’ at the Etihad Arena rooftop, giving us all a sneak peek of the magical show.
Ahead of its four-week run, here are five of the most interesting facts you need to know:
1. To recreate the animal-like movements, more than 200 puppets are used throughout the performance, with it taking a combined 37,000 hours to build them all. The tallest animal puppets used in the show are the four 5.5-metre exotic giraffes from “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”. The smallest animal puppet is the trick mouse at the end of Scar’s cane, measuring just 12 centimetres.
2. Guests will see over 25 species of animals including birds, fish, and insects – the most prominent of which will be 39 hyenas and a whopping 52 wildebeest! Be sure to be on the lookout for elephants, cheetahs, zebras, and antelopes as well.
3. While the international show has been translated into eight languages including Japanese and Spanish, the script itself includes six indigenous African languages that remain untranslated. These languages include Swahili, Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Congolese, and the click language Xhosa. For those familiar with the phrase “hakuna matata” (no worries), congratulations – you already know two words of Swahili.
4. ’The Lion King’ is now celebrating 25 years with over 70 significant accolades six of which are from the 1998 Tony Awards. Director Julie Taymor became the first female to win Best Direction of a Musical.
5. The most complicated set piece is the Pride Rock, which appears five times during each performance. A huge and ancient rock formation located in the vast Pride Lands, Pride Rock is one of the key settings in the story. The battery-powered set piece expands out to 45cm wide at its fullest position onstage and compresses to 20cm when it is not in use.
How can I buy a ticket?
Tickets are sold exclusively through Platinum List and etihadarena.ae. Royal and VIP tickets will be available on the floor offering the best view and most intimate experience.