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Lion King tour bus will roar into Sunderland

Disney's award-winning musical The Lion Kind will enjoy a seven-week run at Sunderland Empire this autumn

The Lion King
The Lion King is coming to Sunderland Empire Theatre

If you were looking for a January pick me up, then this might just do the job.

Disney’s award-winning musical The Lion King will be setting up camp at the Sunderland Empire for seven weeks in the autumn.

The production will be the biggest to ever tour the UK, with 23 giant trucks being enlisted to transport the legendary show – including hundreds of masks, puppets and more than 700 elaborate costumes representing 26 different types of animal – to the North East for the run which begins on September 18.

Four years in the making, the international production brings together a cast of over 50 actors, singers and dancers, from 18 different countries, supported by a backstage team of over 100 people to tell the story of Simba the lion cub’s journey to the top of the animal kingdom.

And of course it’s all set to the original Disney film’s Oscar-winning soundtrack from Elton John and Sir Tim Rice, together with three songs they penned for the theatrical adaptation.

The acclaimed stage version of Disney’s 1994 film was first seen on Broadway in 1997, where it recently became the highest grossing show in Broadway history. The production has now been seen by over 70 million people across six continents and the acclaimed West End production continues to sell out at London’s Lyceum Theatre in its 15th year.

In addition to the record-breaking productions in London and New York, The Lion King can currently be seen in Tokyo, Hamburg, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Brazil and on tour in the US, UK and Japan. The production has also recently opened in Sydney, Australia.

To date, this new UK touring production has enjoyed sell-out, record-breaking seasons in Bristol, Manchester, Dublin and Birmingham and is currently delighting audiences in Edinburgh. Fiona Thomas, vice president of Live Entertainment for The Walt Disney Company EMEA, says: “We are thrilled to be bringing Disney’s The Lion King to the magnificent Sunderland Empire. We continue to be delighted by how much audiences enjoy the show in London and we look forward to sharing Julie Taymor’s legendary production with audiences in Sunderland.”

The Lion King kicks off a seven-week run at the Sunderland Empire from September 18 until November 1. Tickets go on sale on January 21. Call 0844 871 3022, visit the box office in person or visit www.thelionking.co.uk to book.

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