One of the best things about having kids? You don’t have grow up. Last year, Wonder-wife told me that Disney’s the Lion King was coming to Melbourne “we” should go. Thinking back, I don’t know if she meant Wonder-wife and I, or the kids. Let’s go with the kids. We took Mr F (4 years old) and Mr A (2 years old) to a matinee show and because we were a little worried that our little guy might freaking out, we instigated a The Lion King Media blanket at our place. The Broadway album, the soundtrack album, the Lion King read a long book, the movie itself. In the car it used to be Peppa Pig’s domain –who had bumped Thomas off the top spot; but not any more it’s almost a sure bet to be asked for the Lion King. Then it’s the start of the album the “Circle of Life” mainly I think because Mr A likes singing “AAASAPONIA” which I think is meant to be “Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba” (Here come a lion, Father) -just looked that up for this post. So with out further ado here is Disney’s The Lion King. Melbourne. Dad review.
Doing something cultural
Doing something that Wonder-wife and I want to do (not just for the kids)
Being amazed by the puppetry and stage mechanics amazing costumes design and stage show
Showing kids entertainment is not only on a screen
Some of the cast looked like they didn’t want to be doing this, again.
There were a few sound issues
One of the young leads was a bit weak
Still a little concerned about Mr A getting upset the night before the show, I found and played video clips of the show really loud on our Sonos system. Wonder-wife had also found a recommendation on-line about get a program and sit in the theatre looking through it to help them understand that they are people in costumes and get them used it all before the show started.
I may seem harsh scoring only 3.5 stars, but the tickets are not cheap and with no children prices ,that becomes even more expensive, starting at $50 a ticket up to $169 for the best seats in the house. We went for a good view in the Dress Circle and it cost us $120 + booking fees and everything else. For that price you would have hoped for almost flawless production. (I will discuss later).
We arrived early and took some photos in the foyer area had a mini picnic as it’s was the boys lunch time we didn’t want hungry little tummy in there. Once the doors opened we took our seats and started pointing out all sorts of things to the boys like the lights and the detailed ceiling. The staff was really good and helpful with the kids. As the show started the lights dimmed and a booming voice told us to please turn off your phones. Mr A looked at me all excited and I asked him if he would like to sit in my lap, which he jumped on.
Suddenly “Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba”boomed though the theatre I checked Mr. A to see how he was doing. Only to find him bright eyed staring at the stage. The show was amazing! Suddenly birds on poles were up on the corners stalls a mechanical Pride rock moved onto the stage. Just like in the movie the opening scene had all these animals coming to pay their respect, when we noticed an elephant walking down the aisle and joins all the other amazing animals on the stage.
I don’t want to sit here and give you a blow for blow about the show, but it was amazing: The way the grass moved; the giraffes that wear so tall and wonderful; the gazelle that bound along attached to the bike like contraption; or the stampeding buffalo, there was just so much to look at.
The things that let it down for me were: not including the ‘Morning Report’ song, which I can forgive it as it’s not in the original movie it’s part of the stage show. Some other things I could not really get past were young Simba was not believable. I really felt like he was a stand in for someone. It is a shame as some of the best moments were let down due to bad acting, which the boys didn’t notice but Wonder-wife and I both did. I have to admit just looking at Mr. A face during the show – he sat in my lap the entire show – he was mesmerised
Some of the performers didn’t look like they wanted to be there; understandably, they have been performing the night before and now having to back it up in the middle of the day, but when someone looks like they don’t want to be on stage, it shows.
A few times there were audio issues: one with a microphone not being turned up in time for a line; what sounded like the dropping of a live microphone off stage; and a couple of bits of feedback which were quickly corrected. All of which was really disappointing on such a big production. Especially as my in-laws had been the night before and said the performance had been completely flawless.
By far though the overall experience of taking the boys to see their first stage production was a complete success! I would really urge anyone who is umming and ahhhing about taking their little ones, to go and see such and amazing show. We still get renditions of “Nants ingonyama” at every meal from Mr A, and still get requests for the Lion King from Mr F every time we get in the car. I don’t see it ending any time soon.
Till next time.
DAD + three