I took my son to The Lion King – and he got in on the act | Séamas O’Reilly

A festive trip to the West End offers my son the chance to prove himself as king of the jungle

Last week we took the boy into Big Town for his first live, musical experience: a performance of The Lion King in the West End. It was a gift from his Uncle Darragh and Auntie Emilie, who clearly like him more than any of my aunts or uncles ever liked me. I didn’t get trips to see The Lion King when I was a kid. The best we could manage was pantos and nativity plays – and most of those had our own siblings in, which rather denuded them of mystique.

I had my own time in the spotlight, of course, and few within Nazareth House Primary School’s Class of 1997 will ever forget my star turn as Reuben, the inexplicably French brother of Joseph in The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which I conducted entirely dressed as Eric Cantona. Nor my role in our primary school nativity, in which I played an unlikely master of ceremonies named Pablo the Mexican Reindeer. Maybe it’s my former mastery of the stage which has me questioning the allure of taking a toddler to a two-hour theatrical extravaganza. Or maybe it’s the idea of making a three-year-old sit still without talking, screaming, crying or wetting himself throughout its duration.

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