Disney is celebrating its Lion King run at the Alhambra as a roaring success and to mark it has handed over a mask to go on show in the theatre’s foyer.
More than 80,000 people have bought tickets to see the legendary musical which began in Bradford on March 20 and ends this Saturday.
The award-winning show has been one of the centrepieces of the Alhambra’s 100th anniversary celebrations and the lioness mask, designed by its director Julie Taymor, was presented as a special gift.
The Lion King is the largest touring theatre production in UK history and has been experienced by more than one million people in the first six cities of the UK tour.
Tickets sold for the Bradford leg of the tour showed people were travelling from across the country to see it giving the local economy a signficiant boost, according to Gary Verity, chief executive of tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire.
He said: “Yorkshire is fast becoming a leading international cultural hotbed and attracting the calibre of shows like The Lion King to The Alhambra is further proof of this.
“This has a significant impact on the local economy from everything from hotels to transport and shows our Yorkshire venues like The Alhambra are capable of regularly hosting major international productions.
“These shows pull in visitors from far and wide, who not only get to experience the first-class venue, but also our famous Yorkshire welcome and hopefully return again and again.”
Adam Renton, general manager of Bradford Theatres, said: “This year is a very special one for the Alhambra Theatre, as it celebrates its 100th anniversary, and it’s an honour for me to be general manager of this prestigious venue at such an exciting time.
“Hosting Disney’s The Lion King, the biggest show in the Alhambra’s recent history on its only Yorkshire dates, has been a magnificent milestone.
“To see thousands of happy faces leaving the theatre after every performance has been truly magical.”
The touring production will move on to Liverpool for a seven-week season at the Empire Theatre while the acclaimed West End production continues to play at Lyceum Theatre in London, where it is now in its 15th year.