The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ★★★★★ Gillian Lynne Theatre | Jul 18, 2022 - Jan 8, 2023

Prepare to be whisked away to Narnia on the wings of theatrical imagination. This brilliant new production of C.S. Lewis' multilayered allegory is full of mystery and magic. The adventure of the four Pevensie children who have been relocated to Scotland during World War II resonates on many levels, and Director, Michael Fentiman has ensured that both youngsters and adults will be captivated by their discovery of a world trapped in a long winter that must battle to rediscover the joys of spring. Caught in the struggle between the powerful forces of good and evil, the four children must face their own strengths and weaknesses and come to terms with both. Delainey Hayles is simply charming as Lucy and Robyn Sinclair is a delightfully pedantic Susan, while Ammar Duffus creates a suitably responsible Peter and Shaka Kalokoh is completely credible as easily led Edmund. They guide us into a world inhabited by strange and fantastical creatures from the noble faun, Mr Tumnus, endearingly played by Jez Unwin, to the rather ineffectual, but lovable, Beaver couple portrayed by Julian Hoult and Christina Tedders. However, all of these inhabitants of Narnia are under the spell of The White Witch played with terrifying fairytale malevolence by Samantha Womack. She simply dominates her domain and the stage whenever she appears. It is not easy to imagine a suitably impressive adversary, but Aslan, played by Chris Jared with the amazing puppet work of Max Humphries and Toby Olié, achieves a presence that brings both a moral and dramatic equilibrium to the story. Whether you're a devotee of C.S. Lewis' chronicles or a newcomer to Narnia, we predict that you'll be enchanted.

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Seamus Ryan.

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