So as a special end of exams treat, Mum took us all (including Sibyl) out to see the stage version of The Lion King. I had heard nothing but good things about it so was eagerly anticipating what and how they could impress me.
The show basically follows word for word the Disney film (definitely in the top 5 best Disneys of all time – top 3 in my opinion) however they add in extra bits – some work well some don’t. Birds fly, elephants trudge, gazelles leap, great lanky giraffes stumble; all represented purely by actors in animal costumes as well as giant, hollow puppets.
Let me show you this vid to give you a sense of what it was like:
As you can see it has a very African feel to it, with the lead lions and Rafiki being more like tribal leaders or witch doctors, than animals. The video should give you a feel of the fun and excitement of the musical.
I probably would have enjoyed the dialogue a bit more if I didn’t practically know the entire script of the film off by heart. The way they said stuff was very different.
They continued with their African theme by having lots of little refrains where they would have an African vocal ensemble sing in traditional African gear very much like Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Then they would also have little dancing refrains – people running about with fake birds attatched to long sticks.
Visually amazen, vocally amazen.
What have I gained from watching it? Well personally I believe that I have tasted some African culture, however my Father disagreed when I suggested to him such an idea, he claims that due to the fact he’s “been to Africa” he has experienced African culture as a whole, but all he’s done is visit a town in Nigeria, for a week.
I also believe that my eyes have been indulged; the amount of colours and breathtaking scenery set before them. Eyes = Happy.
Theologically did it satisfy me? Honestly? No. It’s just as useless as the film in that sense. The song He Lives in You sort of sums it up – at least they are encouraging life after death, but the main worldview held by the play is that our ancestors watch over us in the stars and that they live on in us. It can’t decide whether it’s re-incarnation or something else. It’s all a bit confusing. But I might have the wrong end of the stick.
ANYWAY.. enough of my ramblings.