The Lion- musical review

★★★★


Through a heartfelt, poignant and inspiring story, Benjamin Scheuer's little musical creates huge waves in theatre. Littered with a series of accompanying songs- often, but not limited to folk-style music- the piece journeys through his personal experience from a young child to 30.


With life always appearing complicated, growing up wasn't easy. Forging relationships with his parents and two younger brothers was a battle in itself. When devastating news threatens to break his family further, it seems Ben's bond with his father holds more weight than comprehendible. Then, years later, after moving countries and navigating a girlfriend, it is his own fate he must face when diagnosed with cancer. Critically acclaimed The Lion discusses the pain and realisation that occurs before discovering your true self.


Starring Max Alexander-Taylor, he immediately engages the audience, and immerses the space into the narrative. Rich storytelling permeates the room as the intimacy of the performance has a lot of strength in the favour of this production. His skilful renditions of songs, all using one of five guitars presented on stage, show excellent craftsmanship in conjunction with Ben's writing and clever lyrics to draw you in. The lighting, designed by Emma Chapman, illuminates the room in various ways to accentuate each element of the script, and does so with noticeable consideration.


The Lion is an extremely thoughtful piece that beautifully conveys an important message of self-worth. Between Ben's articulate recounts, filled with raw emotion and presented with such through music, alongside Max's guitar playing, and ability to develop his character amid every line, it's really not far from perfect.