Shaun Escoffery (Mufasa) and George Asprey (Scar) are celebrating fifteen years in Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre in London this April. They are now the longest serving actors for these roles in any production of The Lion King ever.
– It’s an incredible achievement to be the longest serving actors in the roles of Mufasa and Scar in any production of The Lion King. How does that accolade feel?
George Asprey: Slightly surreal. It’s more like an accumulation because you’re only ever as good as your last show. It’s taking it one show at a time.
Shaun Escoffery: I feel extremely lucky to be able to do something we love.
– How do you keep things interesting and varied?
Escoffery: This might be our five thousandth time, but it is the audience’s first time, and we always keep that at the forefront of our minds.
Asprey: Also, having the freedom of knowing the character so well, it’s easy to change little things and nuances. Occasionally, you’ll come up with something, after fifteen years, and ask yourself why it’s taken all this time to explore that.
– What are the advantages of having worked together for fifteen years? Imagine if you hated each other.
Asprey: I always tell people that I have four sisters, and I always wanted a brother. I never realised that it would turn out to be this six foot brute from East London.
Escoffery: He’s my best friend.
Asprey: Because we know the roles and each other so well, if something does go wrong, nothing phases us.
– What are some of your fondest memories from the past fifteen years?
Asprey: Seeing Shaun again after COVID. That was a hug! That first show back was extraordinary. The bond created between those on stage and those in the auditorium was just immense. And it was a physical manifestation of reality coming back to normal.
– What’s your favourite song from The Lion King?
Escoffery: “Circle of Life”, every time.
Asprey: “They Live in You”, which Shaun sings: it’s extraordinary. And, I have to say, “Be Prepared”.
Shaun Escoffery and George Asprey are roaring in The Lion King in London’s West End.