THE LION King will not be returning to Bradford Alhambra for another two years. The stage version of the classic Disney animated film was due to be at the theatre this summer but the appearance was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Disney have now announced that the show – a blockbuster hit around the world – will instead be performed in the city from March 24 to May 28 in 2022.

A spokesman said: “Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s landmark musical will redefine your expectations of theatre.

“Brilliantly reimagined by acclaimed director Julie Taymor, Disney’s beloved film has been transformed into a spectacular theatrical experience that explodes with glorious colours, stunning effects and enchanting music. The Lion King is the powerful and moving story of Simba - the epic adventure of his journey from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands.”

The Lion King will also be at Manchester’s Palace Theatre from October 22 this year, with Nick Afoa in the title role after performing as Simba for three years in the West End.

Not unlike his character in The Lion King, Afoa has had a journey to take his place on stage. The New Zealand-born, Auckland-raised performer had a promising rugby career with the All Blacks until he was sidelined by injury.

After recovering and dedicating himself to a theatre career, nearly a decade later the 30-year-old beat 400 other hopefuls to the role of Simba in the Australian production.

The previous tour of Disney’s The Lion King broke attendance records across the nation, and the autumn opening of the 2019 tour coincided with The Lion King celebrating 20 years at London’s Lyceum Theatre.

Since the UK premiere in 1999, The Lion King has entertained more than 16 million theatregoers and is the sixth longest-running West End musical of all time.

Julie Taymor’s internationally celebrated stage adaptation of The Lion King opened on Broadway in 1997 and 25 global productions have now been seen by more than 100 million people.

During The Lion King’s Manchester run in 2013 as part of its first UK tour, it played 166 sold out performances over five months and broke the box office record for the biggest revenue ever taken in one day.

Tickets are not yet on sale for the revised dates. Check for updates.