The Lion King is Disney’s biggest musical hit in the UK. The London production is entering its 23rd year at the historic Lyceum Theatre and the second UK & Irish Tour is currently underway in Ireland. Unfortunately, the cast members who give it their all every night to create magic and memories have been victims of unwarranted abuse.
The abuse took place on Friday, 28th January in Dublin, where UK & Irish Tour is currently playing at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, on the nearby Hanover East Street. Several cast members were walking home after a performance when they were subjugated to homophobic and racist abuse from a group of male youths.
Stephenson Ardern-Sodje, who plays Simba, shared his experience on social media: ‘We were subjected to racial and homophobic abuse, both verbal and with the threat of violence, while on the way home after the show in Dublin.‘ He added: ‘This isn’t the first time many of us have experienced something like this, and it’s unlikely to be the last, but in these darker moments it’s good to be reminded that the night must end and that the sun will rise.’
The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and Disney Theatrical Productions authored a joint statement via Twitter, which you can read below:
As mentioned in the statement, in response to the attack, both Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and Disney Theatrical Productions will be making a donation to the Irish Network Against Racism. They are also supporting those affected by the incident and have reported it to the An Garda Síochána, which is the national police service of the Republic of Ireland.
No arrests have been made at the time of writing, but they are appealing for anyone who has information on the attack to come forward.
If you want to see the magnificent cast of The Lion King UK & Irish Tour, you can purchase tickets here!
Mr. Adjern-Sodje’s statement: Sky News.
Header Image: LiveNation