Disney have announced a new cast for the West End production of The Lion King.

Nicholas Afoa makes his West End debut playing Simba; the 30 year old New Zealander made his stage debut in the Australian production of The Lion King playing Simba over 860 times between 2013 and 2016. The opportunity to play the role in the West End production will bring Afoa to London for the first time, as he embarks on his second professional theatre engagement.

Afoa originally played rugby for the All Blacks but injury paved his way to a career in the theatre. The 30 year-old beat 400 other auditionees to the role in the Australian production. He is currently in rehearsal and will appear in the production from 10th May 2016.

The rest of the new cast include Etian Almeida, Jonathan Andre, Janique Charles, Zinhle Dube, Sandile Gontsana, Kwesi Jeffers, Stephanie Lo, Sadia McEwen, Khaya Maseko, Daniel Monteiro, Nosipho Nkonqa, Dominique Planter, Antoine Murray-Straughan, Kayode Salina and Ricardo Walker.

Disney’s The Lion King is currently running into its 17th year at the Lyceum Theatre.

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