Leeds West Academy


Final Curtain on The Lion King

Leeds West Academy’s production of The Lion King Jr came to a close last week with a standing ovation.

With music and lyrics by Hans Zimmer, Elton John and Tim Rice, The Lion King Jr tells the story of Simba, a young lion who is to succeed his father, Mufasa, as king; however, after Simba's uncle Scar murders Mufasa, Simba is manipulated into thinking he was responsible and flees into exile in shame and despair. Upon maturation living with two wastrels, Simba is given some valuable perspective from his childhood friend, Nala, and his shaman, Rafiki, before returning to challenge Scar to end his tyranny.

The production opened on 9th March with three sell-out evenings, including two matinees for the benefit of local Primaries and sister schools Leeds City Academy and Leeds East Academy. The show has quickly become one of the most celebrated productions to be made at Leeds West Academy.

Bernard Riley of the Wharfedale Festival of Theatre said: "The Lion King was beautifully imagined, well directed, well acted, extremely well staged technically, it had stunning costumes, and the music and dancing were very good indeed. This is one of the best, if not the best, youth shows I have ever had the pleasure of seeing."

Academy Principal Mr Hinchliffe spoke at the final curtain: "I'm sure everyone will agree that audiences for this show have been treated to as good a show as anybody could hope to see in the West End. This kind of magic doesn't take place without a huge amount of work behind the scenes. Well done to the Music team, the costume department, the makeup, set, technical work, dancing, singing, acting – everything in this production was absolutely fantastic. I would especially like to thank our incredibly talented students: congratulations on delivering such a stunning performance."

Leeds West Academy wishes to thank the audiences who attended performances of The Lion King Jr, with particular thanks and congratulations extended to all the students and staff involved in the show's development.