Posted: 14 Jan 2019 02:55 AM PST
Playhouse Christmas dates for Lion King
The Lion King is to return to the Edinburgh Playhouse this December 2019, running over the Christmas period at the venue where it had its Scottish premiere six years ago.
The dates are the first to be announced in the second UK tour of the smash hit show, which is kicking off at the Bristol Hippodrome in September.
Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains to the evocative rhythms of Africa, The Lion King is a “thunderous spectacle of live theatre”, according to our 2013 review.
It “sweeps out from the stage into the audience, drawing them into the anthropomorphised world of Simba, the lion prince who returns from self-imposed exile to claim his kingdom.”
The audience engagement was so important that the Playhouse was reconfigured so that elephants and other assorted pachyderms could lumber down the aisle and straight onto the stage, animals snarled as they padded past the audience and exotic birds swirled over head.
Announcing the visit, with tickets going on sale in March, Colin Marr the Theatre Director at the Playhouse said: “We are incredibly excited to have Disney's The Lion King return to the Playhouse.
“I saw it for the first time in London recently and was blown away by the size and scale of the production. It's an incredibly exciting show – a great spectacle but with brilliant humour too. I can't wait to see it on our stage.
“The previous visit had a huge impact on the city attracting hundreds and thousands of visitors and generating millions of pounds for the local economy,” he continued.
” As the only Scottish venue, we are looking forward to welcoming audiences of all ages from Edinburgh, the rest of Scotland and internationally.”
Tickets for the December 2019 Edinburgh Playhouse dates of The Lion King will go on sale in March. Fans can sign up for priority access to tickets at www.thelionking.co.uk.
Posted: 13 Jan 2019 09:35 AM PST
Andy Gray on stage at panto
The audience at the Edinburgh King’s were treated to an emotional return to the stage of panto legend Andy Gray on Saturday night, January 12.
It was “like coming home to a family,” the River City star, who has had to take a year off from the panto for health reasons, told All Edinburgh Theatre.
Andy was in the audience for Saturday’s performance of Beauty and the Beast. He took to the stage briefly, just after the walkdown, coming on to a standing ovation and greeting the audience with his catch-phrase, “I’m no very well”.
“I had a wonderful night at the King’s last night, it was so special,” Andy told Æ.
“I had been in hospital just before that and I was not sure if I would get there, but I did and it was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.”
Gray was met on stage by his co-stars Grant Stott and Allan Stewart. The “three amigos” have become synonymous with the King’s pantomime in recent years.
Grant shared images of the moment on social media as well as a picture of the three of them in his dressing room after the show.
“It was the most emotional night for everyone in the theatre,” Grant Stott told Æ. “We were thrilled he could be there and take his rightful place beside us on the stage.
“Nobody knew what it would be like but it was a very special moment. One we won't forget.”
Andy Gray was diagnosed with blood cancer in the summer just at the start of the Fringe and had to pull out of Junkies, the fringe show he was staring in with Grant Stott and writer Ruaraidh Murray. He also had to withdraw from the series of River City he had been about to start filming.
Having promised his fans that he would be back for next Christmas’s panto – Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Andy’s return to the stage is hugely welcome by everyone.
“I was surrounded by audience members who couldn’t have been lovelier,” he said. “I was surrounded by the marvellous staff of the front of house at the King’s. I saw the crew, stage management, everybody.
“It was just wonderful to see the show which I completely got lost in and it was great to see everybody.”
Gray kept his appearance brief and was as visibly emotional about it as his co-stars, saying “I feel a bit like Andy Murray now, so I am going to have to stop”.
He told Æ: “By the time I got on stage at the end I was pretty emotional. But it was like coming home to a family. It was just really special.”
Everyone at All Edinburgh Theatre sends Andy our love and best wishes for a full recovery.
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