Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre
Evenings: Tuesday to Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 2.30pm
Running Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Age Restrictions: The Lion King is recommended for children aged 7 and over.
Under-3s will not be admitted.
Show Opened: 12th October 1999
Important Info: PLEASE NOTE: strobe lighting is used several times during the performance. Children under the age of 3 will not be admitted. Children over 3 will be admitted, but they must be able to sit in their own seat quietly throughout the performance. If they become restless, they may be asked to leave the auditorium.
The Lyceum Theatre London
21 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7RQ
Venue and Travel Information
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden
Tube Lines: Piccadilly
Directions from nearest tube: Go right on Long Acre; turn right into Bow Street/Wellington Street and follow the road 200 metres. The theatre is on your right.
Railway Station: Charing Cross
Bus Numbers: (Strand) 4, 9, 15, 26, 76, 91, 139, 176, 341; (Aldwych) RV1, X68, 1, 6, 11, 13, 23, 59, 68, 87, 168, 171, 172, 188, 243
Night Bus Numbers: (Strand) 139, 176, 341, N9, N15, N21, N44, N76, N9; (Aldwych) 6, 23, 188, 243, N1, N11, N13, N26, N47, N68, N87, N89, N155, N171, N551
Car Park: Drury Lane, Parker Street
Within Congestion Zone: Yes
Venue Facilities: Air conditioned, Bar, Disabled toilets, Infrared hearing loop, Toilets and Wheelchair accessible
The Lyceum Theatre London
Throughout its history, dating back to 1772, when the Society of Arts founded ‘a Room for Exhibitions and Concerts’ near the current location, the Lyceum has adapted to changing fashions and needs. When first built the theatre housed a wide range of entertainment, including hot air balloons, an animal circus, and a fireworks display. In 1802 Madame Tussaud’s first waxworks exhibition was displayed here. The theatre at one time became a temporary home for the Theatre Royal Drury Lane when it was burned down.
After the Lyceum suffered a similar fate in 1830, the architect Samuel Beazley designed the new theatre and his magnificent portico is still in view today. In 1834 the Lyceum’s productions were hampered by restrictions prohibiting so-called minor theatres from staging drama without a musical interlude, a legacy from the early days following Charles II’s restoration. However, when the 1834 Licensing Act removed these frustrating restrictions, the theatre then presented Shakespeare and the classics. A series of successful extravaganzas were staged, but it was not until 1878 that the Lyceum firmly established itself at the height of the industry.
It was in 1878 that Henry Irving took over the lease of the property and Ellen Terry became his leading lady. This famous partnership had the two nick-named ‘Lord and Lady of the Lyceum’. Unfortunately, in 1898 poor health forced Irving to relinquish control of the theatre, ending a brilliant era. When no buyer could be found by 1904 for the theatre it was decided to demolish and rebuild it. Bertie Crew designed the new building, which was at first used for music hall entertainment.
From 1909-38 the Melville Brothers produced a successful series of spectacular melodramas and Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth saw their first pantomime at the Lyceum in 1934. In 1939 the new owners were London City Council, and they wanted to replace the theatre with a roundabout for traffic. Ellen Terry’s great nephew John Gielgud brought the wheel full circle with 6 farewell performances of Hamlet, proclaiming ” Long live the Lyceum!” The triumphal declaration seemed optimistic until the war intervened and demolition plans were shelved. In 1945 Mecca Ballrooms took over the lease and today’s raked auditorium was then a large dance floor.
By 1986 the Lyceum was again empty and not used but less than ten years later this decline was stopped. Apollo Leisure stepped forward to rescue the theatre in 1994 and securing permission to restore the theatre to its former glory. Today, the theatre has state of the art facilities and an opulent red and gold auditorium. With Jesus Christ Superstar and now The Lion King taking up residence, it seems the ‘Lyceum roar’ will again echo in this famous theatre.