Have you met The Lion King’s new Simba?

The Walt Disney Company UK have announced that Nick Afoa will join the touring production of The Lion King.

Afoa is currently starring as Simba in London’s West End and, having played the role for three years, he’s now ready to tour the UK!

The New Zealand-born performer was set to be a rugby star until an injury scuppered his sporting dreams. But, not to be defeated, the stage star beat 400 other hopefuls to win the role of Simba in the Australian production and has truly taken the theatre world by storm.

The previous tour of Disney’s The Lion King broke attendance records across the UK. The 2019 tour coincides with The Lion King celebrating 20 years on the West End, so it’s going to be a special one. It shows no signs of slowing down, either, as it’s the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time.

Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation of The Lion King opened on Broadway in 1997 and 25 global productions have now been seen by more than 100 million people. The Lion King is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.

The show has been performed in nine different languages and it tours across the world constantly. It’s been played in more that 100 cities in 20 countries on every single continent except for Antarctica… impressive stuff!

The production includes a cast of more than 50 actors, singers and dancers as they come together to tell the story of Simba’s epic journey to become king. Most will know the show for its stunning costumes and staging, bringing the vast expanses of the African Savannah to the stage. It’s one of the most daring and inspiring reinventions of a film of all time – let along an animated one! The Broadway show’s full creative team won five Tony Awards® for its work on The Lion King and reunited to recreate the London show in 1999.

If you’re a fan of the film, you’ll love the stage version. It features 15 fantastic musical numbers as well as some completely new songs. The resulting sound of The Lion King is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa.

Photograph credited to Dewynters Photography ©Disney

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