PROUD parents are set to pack into Furness Academy as it is transformed into the plains of Africa for a sell-out production of The Lion King.

More than 60 young thespians from Yarlside Academy have been busy rehearsing to re-enact the popular1994 Disney animated musical for two nights only.

Characters including Simba, Mufasa, Scar and Rafiki have been brought to life by the youngsters.

Production manager Jill Reid said: “The children have worked really hard to prepare for this.

“We started this project in September, where each child was able to audition for a part.

“Over that period, we’ve seen many of our leading roles grow in confidence - some of whom are usually quiet in the classroom.

“It’s been an amazing journey and we’re excited to end it with two sell-out shows.”

Both nights will see 260 people transported to Africa to see the children’s classic story of family, love, betrayal, and homecoming.

Project assistant Natalie Thompson said: “I think it’s important to thank everyone who has helped us with this production.

“We’ve had help from parents who have taken time to volunteer with costume-making.

“Also, thank you to Furness Academy for providing us with a venue for us to practise and rehearse.”

The Yarlside Academy production comes a month before the release of the new CGI remake of the film, which is scheduled to hit UK cinemas next month.

Mrs Reid added: “Over the years we’ve done productions such as Oliver, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. But we’ve wanted to do The Lion King for a while now. It’s great that a new version of the film is coming out soon - it ties in nicely.”