One of my all-time favourite experiences is one that happened twice! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back, in 2004, on my birthday no less, my future wife and I (at this point, still within our first year of dating) had a weekend in London. This featured a somewhat chaotic experience with hotels mixing our bookings up (the first hotel insisted we were staying elsewhere, the second hotel determined the first hotel was incorrect, and sent us back to the original hotel, who had realised their error, and granted us a room), and plenty of travelling across London. Unbeknownst to me, my partner had made a booking for us to see The Lion King Musical, at London’s gorgeous Lyceum Theatre. When she gave me the envelope with the tickets, I asked her when we’d be seeing it, to which she replied ‘tonight!’ Cue a mad dash back across London.
The show was absolutely breath-taking. I am a huge fan of the movie, and the musical proved itself to be every bit as amazing and wonderful as the film. It was a glorious, emotional, triumphant show, one that must be seen to be believed. I can honestly say that night was wonderful.
Over ten years later, now married, and now with a young daughter in tow, the opportunity arose to return to the Lyceum Theatre, and treat my daughter to the amazing experience I had. Seeing the musical again was very bit as powerful and emotional as it was the first time, and being able to share that with my daughter made it all the more rewarding.
Would I go as far as to say the musical is better than the original movie? I don’t know. It’s a different sort of experience. It’s more… real. You’re seated metres from the actors, breathing the same air, watching them exert themselves up close, so it’s more personal. When they sing, you can feel the power of their voices and the emotion in their hearts. Having had the privilege to experience that twice, I know if I saw it a third time, that I would love it as much as the first two.