IT IS THE show that has been seen by more than 70 million people.

And now more than 100,000 theatre-goers in Southampton are set to be wowed by one of the biggest new shows the city has seen for decades.

Dedicated theatregoers started queuing outside the Mayflower Theatre at 4.30am to get tickets for The Lion King as they went on general sale.

Theatre bosses said the queues outside the city centre venue yesterday were among the largest they had ever seen.

A queue of more than 200 people snaked its way from the venue in Commercial Road down beyond the Encore bar as the 140,000 tickets went on general sale at 8am.

The Disney production, which has played to widespread acclaim in 15 countries and on five continents, will run at the theatre from July 11 to September 6.

Dawn McParland, from Bassett Green, was first in line to get her hands on the coveted tickets.

The 59-year-old had been in line since 4.30am, and said: “I’ve wanted to see this show for years, so now I’ve got tickets I’m really, really looking forward to coming to see it here.

“I’m taking my mother and my daughter, and they’re both excited to see it as well.”

Other queuing theatre-lovers could not hide their delight at getting their hands on tickets.

Tony Dyson, 61, from North Baddesley, had queued since 6am.

He said: “I’m going to take my wife and grandchildren – I spoke to my daughter and she was really excited.”

Speaking as the box office doors opened yesterday morning, theatre chief executive Michael Ockwell said: “It’s a very good turn-out, there’s been a big build-up.

“We’ve had executive members and group tickets on sale since January 13, and we know demand is going to be high.

“And when you saw what the weather was like this morning, it shows you how much people want to see the show.”

To book tickets, visit or call the theatre box office on 023 8071 1811.