WHEN Disney’s The Lion King completes its run at the Mayflower Theatre on Saturday it will have been seen by a record-breaking 140,000-plus people.

The award-winning musical began its run at the Southampton venue on July 10.

In recognition of its success in the city The Walt Disney Company presented a lioness mask to the Mayflower.

The mask, designed by the show’s director, Julie Taymor, will be on permanent display in the theatre foyer.

Analysis of tickets sales show that visitors to the theatre came from as far afield as Inverness and Belfast and even Australia and the United States. About 40 per cent of bookers were seeing a show at the theatre for the first time, demonstrating the Lion King’s ability to bring new audiences to the theatre. 

Theatre chief executive Michael Ockwell said: “We are committed to bringing the very best shows to Southampton and it has been an unforgettable season. Audiences have completely embraced Disney’s The Lion King here which proves the enduring popularity of this production but also the importance of our theatre to the local community.”

The touring production now moves on to Sunderland. Meanwhile the acclaimed West End production continues to play at London’s Lyceum Theatre, where it is now in its 15th year.