A look inside The Lion King's backstage choreography

A scene from the award-winning musical The Lion King.
A scene from the award-winning musical The Lion King. Joan Marcus

AFRICA is known for the "big five" but everything is big in The Lion King.

From life-sized animal puppets to the powerhouse voices of its talented cast, the Tony Award-winning musical is a visual spectacle rivalling the vibrant life of the Savannah itself.

But it's the show behind the show that fans rarely get to see.

The choreographed moves on stage are mirrored, and amplified behind the scenes.

During a backstage tour of the show in Sydney, production stage manager Matthew Henderson told APN how the crew outnumbers the cast three to one.

It takes a behind-the-scenes army of nearly 150 people to run the show, and they do it like clockwork.

They must to ensure say, a giant elephant puppet doesn't block a performer's exit to the wings and that in their mad dash to get ready for the next scene the cast put on the right costumes, which include custom-made and fitted helmets, masks and shoes.

"It has to be precise," Henderson said.

"It's a tight ship just to make sure everyone is safe."

Dozens of costumes and set pieces hang from the rafters to keep backstage pathways clear.

It took 18 semi-trailers to transport the vast array of costumes, puppets, equipment and set pieces from Sydney to Brisbane.

The show's debut Queensland season was expanded several times to meet demand when tickets went on sale in April.

Preview performances run all this week ahead of Friday's official opening night.

The Lion King runs Wednesdays through Sundays at QPAC's Lyric Theatre until January 25, 2015.

Topics:  qpac's lyric theatre the lion king

WATCH: What the Capras new $300,000 sponsorship means

TEAMING UP: Brendon Pambid (Yancoal operations manager, Yarrabee), Brad Neven (Yancoal group manager, health and safety and HR), and Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras CEO Peter White unveil the jerseys the club's under-18 and under-20s will wear.

Club CEO Peter White hails club's biggest deal in decades

Rocky pool close to lockdown, police search for armed woman

Police at Southside Pool responding to woman carrying a firearm.

Repeat offender witnessed with firearm at Southside pool

Careers fair opens new options for Rocky students

rockhampton State High School students Gemma Roug, Molly Hartley and Tahlia Kiraly at the school's inaugural careers fair.

GALLERY: Students enjoy The Morning Bulletin's photo booth

Local Partners

premium_icon Actress told Rush ‘stop doing it’, court hears

OSCAR winner Geoffrey Rush repeatedly touched his Sydney Theatre Company co-star onstage in a way that made her uncomfortable and ignored a request to “stop doing...

Humiliating aftermath of affair

Tracey follows in the steps of Julia Stiles and takes back Dean.

THE most humiliating detail about Dean is finally uncovered.

Heartbreaking way Shannon Noll lost Idol fortune

Shannon Noll in I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

NOLL spent post-Idol money, but not in typical rock star fashion.

Holtznagel: ‘I had to ID Charlotte Dawson’s body’

Simone Holtznagel broke down as she spoke out about one of her “best friends” and Australia’s Next Top Model mentor Charlotte Dawson.

Simone Holtznagel speaks out about Charlotte Dawson

Elsa Pataky turns snake wrangler

Elsa Pataky isn’t afraid of snakes. Picture: Supplied

Chris Hemsworth’s wife wrangles snake inside Byron Bay home.

Jilted MAFS spouses break silence

MAFS contestants Tracey and Dean break their silence.

Tracey and Ryan break silence after affair is exposed.

Kate Middleton’s BAFTAs dress slammed

Stars don black in again to show solidarity with the #MeToo and Time's up campaigns...