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The Lion King UK tour to star Nick Afoa as Simba

The actor is currently playing the leading role in the West End

Janique Charles and Nick Afoa in The Lion King in the West End
© Disney

Nick Afoa will join the touring production of The Lion King as Simba from 30 April, it was announced today.

The actor is currently starring as Simba in the West End production, where he has performed for three years after making his stage debut in the Australian production in 2013. Previously, New Zealand-born Afoa was a rugby player with the All Blacks before he was sidelined by injury.

The touring production of The Lion King is currently playing at the Edinburgh Playhouse until 18 April after it opened at the Bristol Hippodrome in September 2019. The tour will then play at the Alhambra Bradford – where Afoa will join the cast – before moving to Cardiff, Southampton and Manchester. Further dates will be announced in due course.

Since its UK premiere in 1999, The Lion King has played to more than 16 million theatregoers in the last 20 years as the West End's best-selling stage production and sixth longest-running West End musical of all time. A team of more than 50 performers onstage and 100 crew offstage play every night to up to 2,200 people at the Lyceum Theatre.

Directed by Julie Taymor, scenic design is by British designer Richard Hudson, lighting design by Donald Holder. costume design by Taymor and choreography by Garth Fagan. The book was adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated feature and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the screenplay. Music is by Elton John and Tim Rice, with additional composition by Lebo M.

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