Disney's The Lion King completed its sell-out run at Birmingham Hippodrome at the end of September after delighting over 190,000 theatregoers and generating "millions of pounds" for the local economy. The award-winning musical, which began on Saturday 29 June, played 109 performances at the theatre.
The legendary musical, the largest touring theatre production in UK history, attracted visitors from every corner of the Globe. Audience members travelled from as far afield as New Zealand, Kuwait and from throughout Europe, as well as UK patrons visiting from Inverness through Brighton.
Birmingham Hippodrome reported that over 50% were new first-time bookers to the theatre, generating huge benefits for the city. "Millions of pounds" were generated for Southside bars, restaurants and shopping districts, as well as the thousands of patrons the production attracted to Birmingham who stayed overnight in one of the city's hotels.
Ian Taylor, Commercial Director at Marketing Birmingham, commented: "The Lion King is the largest production ever to play the venue and brought with it huge commercial appeal, helping to attract many first time tourists to Birmingham. Bringing 190,000 additional visitors to the city – half of whom had not booked tickets at The Hippodrome previously. We would conservatively estimate that benefit to be in the millions of pounds."
Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of the Birmingham Hippodrome, said: "Working with Disney for the past two years bringing The Lion King to Birmingham has been one of the most rewarding challenges the Hippodrome team has ever undertaken. Half of all bookers had never previously purchased a Hippodrome ticket, and huge numbers came into Birmingham from far and wide. We're delighted that the summer has been such a ‘roaring' success and we can't wait to welcome another Disney show back very soon!"
The touring production now moves on to Edinburgh for a 15-week season at the Playhouse, marking the first time the musical will play in Scotland. Meanwhile, the acclaimed West End production continues to play at London's Lyceum Theatre, where it is entering its 15th triumphant year.