Disney announces full cast for UK touring production of THE LION KING


 Cast to include performers from 12 countries 

Roles of Young Simba and Young Nala to be played by local talent

Disney today announced the cast for the first ever UK tour of the award-winning musical ‘The Lion King’, which begins performances on Friday 31st August at Bristol’s Hippodrome Theatre.
As with all productions of this acclaimed musical, the UK touring company includes singers, dancers and actors from all over the world. Hailing from 12 different countries, this diverse and multi-talented group will come together for the first time on July 9th, when rehearsals begin in Bristol. The official opening night will be on Thursday 6th September.
The 46 member acting company includes:
·       Cleveland Cathnott , a native of Jamaica, where he performed in Dreamgirls and Yes Jam Opera, who will play the role of 'Mufasa'. He is currently part of the London Company of ‘The Lion King’

·       Stephen Carlile will take on the role of ‘Scar’. He has been seen on stages around the UK, as well as in the film of Brideshead Revisited
·       Gugwana Dlamini will play ‘Rafiki’, a role she has previously played in several productions around the world, including in London, Singapore, Australia and the US National Tour

·       Meilyr Sion will play the role of ‘Zazu’ and has experience working on stage and screen in his native Wales and across the UK    

·       Nicholas Nkuna will play the role of ‘Simba’. A native of South Africa, where he most recently played the title role in The Phantom of the Opera. Nicholas will be making his UK debut in ‘The Lion King’

·       Carol Stennett will play ‘Nala’, a role she is currently playing in the West End production. Born in London, she previously starred in Thriller Live in the West End

·       Londoner John Hasler will play ‘Timon’ after a busy year filming 10 Arenas of Marwood, as well as voice work on BBC’s The Hour, Disney/Pixar’s Brave and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

·       Liverpudlian Mark Roper will play ‘Pumbaa’. He has starred in musicals all over the UK, as well as recently taking to the screen in Life’s Too Short, Blitz and Hustle

·       Gbemisola Ikumelo returns to the role of ‘Shenzi’ after a stint in the London Company. She has also been seen on stage in London in Death and The King’s Horseman and has written and directed her own plays

·       Daniel Norford will play ‘Banzai’, following roles in The Full Monty, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Estate Walls in London, around the UK and on tour in China. He has recently finished filming the short film Driftwood

·       Philip Oakland plays the role of ‘Ed’, having recently starred in A Rake's Progress and The Vaudevillians in the West End
The ensemble for ‘The Lion King’ includes; David Albury, Keisha Amponsa Banson, Tovah-Marie Bembridge, Magalie Brito, Thembelihle Cele, Sup Dhanasunthorn, Tiesha Duncan, Thibault Durand, Kwesi Jeffers, Aiko Kato, Mduduzi Madela, Hope Maine, Noni Makhathini, Mariano Manzela, Iamnia Montalvo, Giovani Napoly, Anna Ella Neocel, Nosipho Nkonqa, Sindisiwe Nxumalo, Phindile Nyandemi, Mark Peachy, George Rae, Lloyd Rathebe, Jeffrey Richardson, Georgey Souchette Alex Thomas, Taresha Rommick, Thuli Thusi, Jean Vinicius das Neves Salomao, Jermaine Woods, Charlene Zijlstra, Bonga Zulu and Sibongoseni Zulu.
Auditions for the roles of Young Simba and Young Nala, will take place in Bristol on 16th June. These leading roles will be shared by several child performers during the Bristol season.
Disney’s ‘The Lion King’, based on the beloved animated film, was entrusted to Director and Co-Designer Julie Taymor to adapt the film for the stage. Taymor brought a vast array of disciplines to ‘The Lion King’ which draws upon her immeasurable experience of various theatrical styles and cultures to tell the compelling tale of Simba, the young lion cub, as he journeys through life and struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destined role of King.
The multi-award winning musical has now played in 15 countries on five continents and been translated into six languages. Taymor’s extraordinary vision has gone on to achieve phenomenal success on an international scale, enthralling audiences across the globe with the timeless story and universal messages of hope, community and the circle of life.
In addition to the record-breaking productions in London and New York, ‘The Lion King’ can currently be seen in Tokyo, Hamburg, Sapporo, Madrid and on tour in the US. ‘The Lion King’ UK tour will be the 20th production to premiere internationally.
The Bristol Hippodrome
Saint Augustine's Parade Bristol BS1 4UZ

Friday 31 August to Saturday 17 November 2012
Performances: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Matinees Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm

The Lion King hotline – 0844 871 3033