Two West End musicals – the recently arrived Jerry Springer - The Opera and Disney’s long-running The Lion King - have announced extensions to their booking periods.

At the Cambridge Theatre, Jerry Springer has added more than nine months to its schedule, taking it up to 8 January 2005. Following its sell-out season at the National (See News, 4 Jul 2003), the new musical, by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee, transferred to the West End on 10 November 2003 (previews from 14 October).

Promising "triumph, tragedy and trailer trash as high art meets low life", Jerry Springer - The Opera is based on America's most lurid talk show and the host who has broadcast programmes such as "Pregnant by a Transsexual", "Here Come the Hookers" and "I Refuse to Wear Clothes". Michael Brandon plays the eponymous host and is joined in the 36-strong cast by David Bedella, Valda Aviks, Alison Jiear and Andrew Bevis.

The show recently won the Evening Standard award for Best Musical (See News, 24 Nov 2003), and has been nominated for several Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, including Best Actor in a Musical (for both Brandon and Bedella), Best Actress in a Musical (Jiear) and Best New Musical. (Click here to vote!)

Meanwhile, Disney's multi award-winning musical The Lion King has added another three months to its schedule. It's now taking public bookings up to 26 September 2004. The musical, based on the hit animated film, has songs by Elton John and Tim Rice and is housed at the Lyceum Theatre, its home since 1999.

- by Terri Paddock