Academy hard at work on Lion King special

Early rehearsals are under way NNL-150204-133124001
Early rehearsals are under way NNL-150204-133124001

Talented students at Banbury Academy are hoping their latest musical production will be a roaring success this summer, with rehearsals already well under way.

They will be one of the first schools in the UK to stage The Lion King Jr, a shortened 60-minute version of the full length stage play originally adapted forBroadway.

The enthusiastic cast consists of students of all ages, ranging from years 7 to 12.

They are currently engaged in singing, dancing and acting rehearsals twice a week to prepare for the upcoming performances.

They hope to continue the success of Banbury Academy’s previous theatrical productions, which have included West End favourites such as Billy Elliot and We Will Rock You.

Following the initial release of the animated feature film in 1994, The Lion King quickly became one of Disney’s biggest financial and critical successes .

The film was awarded two Oscars at the 1995 Academy Awards, including Best Original Song for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Can You Feel the Love Tonight and Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer’s musical compositions

With the soundtrack proving such a massive hit, The Lion King was subsequently adapted into a live musical theatre production on Broadway in the late 1990s.

To date, the show has been seen by more than 75 million people across the world, with professional productions currently staged in countries as far flung as Spain, Japan, the USA and Australia.

Nicola Nunweiler, head of drama at Banbury Academy, said: “We were incredibly excited to find out that we had been successful in securing the performing rights to The Lion King Jr, especially as they had only been released in the UK at the end of January.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for our students to be a part of, and so far the rehearsals have been exciting and full of energy.

“I am very much looking forward to the whole process.”

The Lion King is due to run at Banbury Academy from Wednesday to Saturday, July 8-11.

Further information will be available nearer the time of the performances.