The Lion King – new cast members join pack

'The Embrace' - Nick Afoa as Simba, Janique Charles as Nala 2017 ©Disney

Nick Afoa and Janique Charles in The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. Picture: Disney

Eleven new cast members have joined the award-winning West End production of Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre.

Now in its 18th year in the capital, the show’s new principal line-up includes Janique Charles, the Trinidad and Tobago-born actress who moved to London to join the UK touring cast of the show in 2013. Part of the ensemble in the London production since 2016, she has now stepped into the role of Nala.

She will be joined by Gary Jordan (Grease, Victoria Palace; UK tour of High Society) as Zazu, and Dominique Planter – a swing in the show since last year – who now makes her West End debut in a principal role as Shenzi.

The production also welcomes new cast members from The Philippines, Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Brazil and the UK: Lila Anderson, Owen Chaponda, Deborah Dada, Debôrah Godchaser, Brian James Leys, Nathan Louis-Fernand, Nonhlanhla Makthathini, Rutendo Mushonga, Luciano Santos Souza and Karlene Wray.

The newcomers join a uniquely multi-national cast which already includes performers from 11 countries. The company is led by George Asprey as Scar, Shaun Escoffery as Mufasa, Brown Lindiwe Mkhize as Rafiki, Richard Frame as Timon, Keith Bookman as Pumbaa, Nick Afoa as Simba, David Blake as Banzai and Mark McGee as Ed.

The multi award-winning musical The Lion King had its UK premiere in London in October 1999. The musical has entertained more than 14 million theatregoers and remains the West End’s best-selling stage production.

Julie Taymor’s internationally-celebrated stage adaptation of Disney’s much-loved animated film premiered on Broadway in 1997 and has now been seen by more than 90 million people across six continents.

Ten productions are running concurrently around the globe. In addition to the record-breaking productions in London and New York, it can currently be seen in Hamburg, Madrid, Mexico City, Sapporo, Scheveningen, Shanghai, Tokyo, and on tour across North America.

The Lion King is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.

Angela Thomas

Tickets for The Lion King are available HERE.

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