Touring production seen at the Bristol Hippodrome at the end of the tour.
A favourite childhood story for many, and one which truly stands the test of time, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe roars into Bristol Hippodrome this week, delivering pure magic from start to finish.
A faithful adaptation of the classic C.S. Lewis novel, the show tells the story of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, four evacuees placed in the care of a zany professor in a Scottish castle. When Lucy accidentally stumbles across the land of Narnia, hidden in an old wardrobe, a wonderful tale unfolds of good versus evil and triumph over adversity as the children, along with the mighty Aslan, defeat the White Witch.
As a big fan of The Chronicles of Narnia, I was somewhat wary of seeing a stage adaptation of something I love so much. There’s always that fear; will the director have interpreted the story in the same way as your imagination? Will they open your mind to new, fantastical ways of interpreting things that you hadn’t thought of before? (Hello, 1988 TV version.) Or will they crush the joy out of something you hold so dear? (Looking right at you, 2005 film version.)
I watch a lot of theatre. Theatre makes you think, feel, and experience a story on a level that is unrivalled by any other medium, and Michael Fentiman really did whisk me away to another world with The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. I was transfixed from start to finish. Even the incredibly noisy audience didn’t impact my viewing pleasure; I was enthralled. Everything about this production is sublime, from the way the story unfolds, to the cast and crew of creatives who bring it to life so incredibly well. The scene changes in particular are sensational. A simplistic set design is used to its full potential, and having the actors playing all their own instruments and singing added another dimension to the story.
The puppetry of Aslan, and the way the great lion is brought to life so magnificently by Chris Jared is wonderful to behold, and I just want to mention that Sam Buttery, as Mr Beaver, made my whole night. Normally when reviewing, I would highlight the leads, but this is an ensemble show where everyone plays a part in delivering a perfect, magical evening. If you’re after an evening of total escapism, make sure to catch this incredible show. It is simply perfect.