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Lion King hits will be the pride of next year's Tattoo


MORE than 300 pipers and drummers will perform music from Disney's The Lion King as part of a spectacular finale to next year's Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

A stirring rendition of Elton John's Can You Feel the Love Tonight will be the show-stoppper at the annual extravaganza.

And it is hoped the world famous pop star might be tempted to Edinburgh to watch what will be a unique version of his song.

The music from the Lion King is just one of many performances linked to South Africa, a country which is making a major contribution to next year's event.

And a Tattoo spokesman said: "It is a very interesting choice of music for the Tattoo and it would be great if we could encourage Elton John to come and see what he made of it."

The event will also feature the pipes and drums of the Cape Town Highlanders, accompanied by 50 South African Highland dancers, and mark the British debut of the traditional musicians and singers of the Cape Minstrels.

The theme for the Tattoo is the Army in Scotland, and organisers are hoping to remind people about the important sacrifices made by Scottish soldiers over the years.

The opening fanfare will be dedicated to the Scottish Soldiers, and for the first time at the Tattoo, the Regimental Bands of The Scots Guards and The Coldstream Guards, two of the finest military bands in the world, will perform together.

Giving details of the programme, Tattoo chief executive and producer Brigadier Melville Jameson also announced that he planned once again to have the largest gathering of pipes and drums on the Castle Esplanade, topping the 13 different bands who performed this year.

In total there will be more than 1000 performers from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom taking to the Esplanade for the 90-minute spectacular.

And in what is sure to be a crowd pleasing decision, the Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland, one of the most popular acts ever to appear at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, has been lined up for a show-stealing return.

The band became an international sensation after taking the Tattoo by storm two years ago, when their performance - their first at a major event outside Switzerland - was beamed to a worldwide television audience of more than 100 million.

The choice of a Disney musical to round off the Military Tattoo is one that may prove controversial, but Brigadier Jameson insisted he was confident it would be very popular.

He said: "I think everyone will be asking why we are doing this until they have seen it, and while I grant that it may sound odd, I think it will be a very special performance.

"The song Can You Feel the Love Tonight is something the pipers can play and I think with the massed pipes and drums it will be a truly special event.

"We do have a large number of groups from South Africa, as well as other African countries, and we are always trying to ensure the countries of the commonwealth get a chance to join the Tattoo.

"There is such a rich culture over there which produces some tremendous bands.

"As ever it is my aim to produce the best Tattoo in the business. I realise this will be a challenge but my small Tattoo team and I are absolutely intent on matching, if not surpassing, the success of its predecessor."

Tickets for next year's Tattoo go on sale at 10am on December 1.




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