A friend was asking me the other day about The Lion King musical. He and his partner love the music but they were worried that the audience will just be people with young families and school parties. They’d seen Wicked a couple of years ago and quite enjoyed the show but felt uncomfortable at the interval. The foyer was full of tweenies buying coke and popcorn and the queue for the Ladies had to be seen to be believed as all the young girls lined up to check their hair and make-up. They were worried that the Lion King might be even worse with really little kids everywhere.
The Lion King is Not Just for Kids!
I did my best to reassure them, firstly that they’d been unlucky with Wicked and it isn’t always like that and secondly that the Lion King definitely isn’t just for kids. The children who are there are often part of the Lion King education outreach programme. They have been working towards seeing the show for weeks and know just how they should behave at the theatre. However, I came up with some guidelines to help them book at the best possible times to avoid any age related problems which I thought I’d share here.
Top Tips for Grown-ups
1. Book for a school night, if you can. Most school parties book for weekday matinee performances. The evening performance goes on till around 10:30 pm which is much too late for most school children.Saturday nights are also a good choice as it is harder to get block bookings.
2. Avoid the school holidays, especially Christmas or half terms. Prices and availability are up those weeks anyway, especially for theatre breaks.
3. It is very unlikely that you will have much disturbance from badly behaved children during the performance, even if there is a school party or birthday treat there. If a school party is annoying you a quick word with the teacher can work wonders! Also, like most West End theatres, children under 3 are not allowed in the Lyceum, so no screaming babies to worry about.
4. Head for one of the bars during the interval and make sure you have pre-ordered drinks. Children are not allowed to hang around in the actual bar area so that should not be a problem.
5. Even if there are lots of children there it won’t spoil the magic and it might even add to it. The Lion King is full of amazing puppetry and effects. Most children sit spellbound throughout the entire performance. Actually so do most adults! From the opening bars through to the final reprise of the Circle of Life the show holds your attention. Go with it and you will have an amazing ride. Suspend your disbelief and let your inner child be delighted by the spectacle of colour, movement, emotions and music.
If all of that doesn’t convince you just watch this great video, to start to feel the magic:
Find out more about Lion King Theatre Breaks