A cast and crew of 130 pupils delivered a magical, enchanting and authentic performance of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis adapted by Adrian Mitchell. An imagination filled tale of lost lands, mythical beasts, talking animals and good eventually overcoming evil – the children did a magnificent job bringing this beautiful story to life.
Brilliant staging ingeniously transported the audience between the 1940s home of evacuees Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy to the lost wintery world of Narnia by using a silvery translucent drape, giant wardrobe doors and clever lighting.
The story starts with the children being sent from London to live in a large country house. During a game of ‘hide and seek’, Lucy discovers a hidden world in the wardrobe. Her brothers and sisters eventually follow her there, where they discover a land ruled by the evil White Witch. The four children are exceptionally well cast – Lucy is endearingly sweet and earnest and Edmund, sly and devious. The famous fawn, Mr Tumnus, that greets Lucy when she first arrives is played charmingly by James Carder-Geddes and Mr Beaver has the audience in the palm of his hand as he leads the children to Aslan, the famous lion.
The costumes, set and dry ice create an atmospheric performance, but it is Aslan that commands the stage. A masterpiece of creativity, the lion is a magnificent sculpture crafted from recycled cardboard which is carried by six children. He is brought to life by two of them, a girl and a boy, who are his kind and authoritative voice.
Lynne Lawrence, Director of Drama and Dance said, “I appreciate this story is a firm favourite for many and I very much wanted the children to emulate the magic and wonder of this extraordinary tale. I think they did incredibly well, the White Witch was enchantingly nasty and the cameo performance of Father Christmas reminded us all that we are at the cusp of this festive time.”
Cameron, who played Mr Beaver said, “When I found out we were going to be performing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe I was utterly thrilled. It is one of my favourite stories. I was so chuffed to be cast as Mr Beaver, I had the opportunity to try out my cockney accent and really develop the character. Being amongst all the snow and Father Christmas has also made everyone even more excited that it will soon be Christmas.”
The cast performed four times over three days to a packed theatre including children from four local schools.