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Royal Variety

As it enters its tenth triumphant year, the smash hit Disney musical The Lion King is to make its second appearance at the Royal Variety Performance in December, making it the first West End show to make an encore in the event’s history.

Other shows putting in appearances this year include the casts of the Garrick’s swashbuckling Zorro, the Prince Edward’s Jersey Boys and the Playhouse’s La Cage Aux Folles will introduce its new leading man, Graham Norton, to the nation.

Notably absent is the cast of Mamma Mia!. Not only does the phenomenally successful show also enter its tenth year in 2009, but its big screen spin-off has become the highest grossing film musical in history and the recent DVD release has broken all records.

As the West End thrives, this year’s Royal Variety performance has a distinct theatre flavour, with an additional line-up including John Barrowman and Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson, who made his stage debut this summer in Into The Hoods at the Novello. Also, Wicked’s Kerry Ellis will be making a special appearance with Queen’s Brian May. The pair have recently released a collaboration CD called Wicked In Rock, and although she has become a huge theatre star playing Elphaba in Wicked in both London and New York, Kerry and Brian will probably do something from We Will Rock You.

The Royal Variety Performance will take place at the London Palladium on 11 December 2008 and will be screened on BBC 1 at a later date.

Published: 01/12/2008 15:10:25