INTERVIEW: Disney’s The Lion King (London) welcomes Owen Chaponda (Simba) and Merryl Ansah (Nala): "I’d say keeping… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
The Prickle (@ThePrickle) February 17, 2023
The award-winning West End production of Disney’s The Lion King will welcome Owen Chaponda (Back to the Future; The Colour Purple) and Merryl Ansah (Heathers; Crazy for You), who will step into the iconic roles of ‘Simba’ and ‘Nala’, this spring. This will mark their return to the show, both having previously performed in the ensemble in the West End production.
– Congratulations to both of you on winning these fiercely competitive roles. How did you react when you found out?
MA: I was at home and came running down the stairs screaming: my mum thought something was wrong! I just couldn’t believe it, but I was ecstatic, and still am.
OC: I called my mum straight away, and she just started screaming and bawling her eyes out!
– What challenges lie ahead for you?
OC: I’d say keeping the level of consistency that you need for such a demanding show, you have to be on your A-game and really give 100% every night.
MA: We’re doing this eight times a week, so we have to make sure that we are at our best every show.
– Why is Disney’s stage production of The Lion King still so popular, nearly twenty-five years after it opened?
OC: I think it’s the show’s authenticity, and the level of detail that goes into this production; it’s such an incredible piece of theatre.
MA: There really is nothing else like it; I think that’s why people come back time and time again.
– What are you most looking forward to about performing in the West End?
MA: I think for me it’s getting to inspire people, especially those who are coming for the very first time.
OC: I think being able to tell our stories, through these characters, is something I’m really looking forward to.
Owen Chaponda and Merryl Ansah will be roaring at the Lyceum Theatre from 9 May 2023.