A LONG-awaited five week Southampton run of Disney's smash hit musical The Lion King will now take place in 2022.

The iconic show, which was seen by over 140,000 people during its record breaking visit to the city in 2014, had been due to return to Mayflower Theatre in September.

But the hotly anticipated visit has now been postponed due to the theatre's ongoing Covid-19 closure.

It will now take place from September 8 to October 15 2022.

The Tony and Olivier award-winning musical boasts a cast of more than 50 actors, singers and dancers who tell the story of Simba’s epic adventures as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming king.

The Lion King is miraculously brought to life using masks, puppets and striking costumes. It features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from the animated film along with new music from the celebrated duo and an evocative blend of African rhythms and chorales from South African composer Lebo M, creating a distinctive fusion of sound in songs including the Academy Award-winning Can You Feel The Love Tonight and the haunting Shadowland.

The show celebrated 20 years in the West End last autumn with a special charity gala at the Lyceum Theatre, its home for one sell out show after another for the past two decades. Since its Broadway premiere in 1997, 25 global productions have been seen by more than 100 million people. The Lion King has made theatrical history with six productions worldwide running 15 or more years.

Mayflower ticket holders have been contacted. Their tickets remain valid for the rescheduled dates or can be returned for a refund or theatre vouchers.

Tickets can be purchased for the new dates from mayflower.org.uk