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The Lion King announces full casting for West End return

The show will play from 29 July 2021

The Lion King
© Johan Persson

Further casting has been announced for The Lion King, which re-opens in the West End at the Lyceum Theatre on 29 July.

Joining the previously unveiled Kayi Ushe in the role of Simba will be George Asprey as Scar, David Blake as Banzai, Janique Charles as Nala, Gugwana Dlamini as Rafiki, Shaun Escoffery as Mufasa, Gary Jordan as Zazu, Jamie McGregor as Timon, Melone M'Kenzy as Shenzi and Mark Roper as Pumbaa.

Phil Adèle will make his West End debut in the role of Ed and new ensemble cast members joining from seven countries around the world are Gesztenye Botos, Reece Darlington-Delaire, Shak Gabbidon-Williams, Ryesha Higgs, Candice Holdford, Angela Marie Hurst, Duane Lamonte, Jane Carla Leynes, Deja Linton, Jonathan Lutwyche, Kearabetswe Mogotsi and Taela Yeomans-Brown.

In a wonderful sign of how the show ushers in the next generation of West End talent, both Gabbidon-Williams and Darlington-Delaire previously played "Young Simba" in the show and now return as part of the ensemble. Marie-Hurst and Linton, now part of the ensemble, previously played "Young Nala".

Watch a discussion with Ushe here.

Remaining in the show are Barnaby Thompson, Shannon Taiwo, Luciano Santos Souza, Kristof Skhosana, Mlungisi Shabalala, Poseletso Sejosingoe-Mandela, Nosipho Nkonqa, Keitumetse Molea, Mkhize Phumlane Jones, Sadia McEwen, Nonhlanhla Makhathini, Stephanie Lo, Francisco Lins, Lamoi Leon, Tramaine Lamy, Garry Lake, Du-Wayne Hinds, Sandile Gontsana, Kevin Fullinck, Kuan Frye, Azola Dlamini, Donna Clovis, Gabriel Brasilio, Thanduxolo Booi and Etian A Almeida.

Julie Taymor's adaptation of the iconic Disney classic film first opened on Broadway in 1997, coming to the West End two years later. The record-breaking piece has been closed since the onset of the pandemic, but is set to reopen in late July, when the government's roadmap to reopening has reached step four.

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