Disney's The Lion King will complete its record-breaking run at The Bristol Hippodrome on Saturday, having generated over £6 million for the local economy. The award-winning musical, which began on Friday 31 August, will close at the theatre on Saturday 17 November having played to over 165,000 people at 88 performances.
The legendary musical underlined its position as the biggest-ever touring theatre production by attracting visitors from every corner of the UK, with 75% of the audience travelling from outside of Bristol to see the production, including as far afield as the Orkneys, East Anglia and Northern Ireland. Subsequently over half of the visitors were visiting the Hippodrome for the very first time, generating huge benefits to the city.
John Hallett, Managing Director at Destination Bristol said:
"The level of economic impact that an event the calibre of The Lion King can bring to the city of Bristol is extraordinary. We saw a similar effect in 2009 with the acclaimed Banksy exhibition, which brought tens of thousands of visitors to the region. While it is impossible to accurately measure this impact, after analysing attendance figures, we believe that through travel, hotel accommodation, business in locals shops and restaurants, The Lion King brought well over £6 million to the local economy – as well as entertaining more than 165,000 people."
The Lion King had a similarly positive effect on the Hippodrome itself, as the theatre celebrated its centenary year. Specifically for the season, the stalls seating in the auditorium was reconfigured to have two aisles, to allow for the famous animal procession which opens The Lion King. In addition, due to the high demand for tickets to the sell-out show, the musical was the first production in the Hippodrome's history to sell standing room tickets.
Christiaan De Villiers, General Manager, Bristol Hippodrome, commented:
"It has been thrilling to have Disney's The Lion King at the Hippodrome during our centenary year. It has brought new audiences and new energy to the theatre, and is sure to stand as one of this historic theatre's most exciting and memorable productions."
The touring production now moves on to Manchester for an 18-week season at The Palace Theatre. Meanwhile, the acclaimed West End production continues to play at London's Lyceum Theatre, where it is now in its 14th triumphant year.