The smash hit production of C.S. Lewis’ classic The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, voted the nation’s favourite book in 2019, is a winter tale you don’t want to miss – even if you’re not feeling festive yet.
With live music dancing across the stage, snow and puppetry, this feel-good piece of theatre at The Lowry is one that will stay with you, and imprint the importance of kindness.
Pevensie siblings Peter (Ammar Duffus), Susan (Robyn Sinclair), Edmund (Shaka Kalokoh) and Lucy (Karise Yansen) are evacuated from London, escaping the Blitz on a train heading north – Aberdeenshire.
Professor Kirk (Johnson Willis) and his peculiar cat, Schrodinger (puppeteer Oliver Grant) welcome them into their home.
Exploring their new temporary living quarters, the Pevensie siblings stumble across a curious wardrobe full of spare coats in an empty room, which leads to much more adventure than they anticipated when they first left London – falling into a world that is always winter, but never Christmas.
The puppeteering throughout is phenomenally lifelike, and the Pevensies convincing as brothers and sisters, showing real chemistry – perhaps too much, given Lucy addressed Susan as ‘Robyn’ at the very start of the show.
This though, can be forgiven, as it was only the second night running as well as Yansen’s professional theatre debut – teething problems are human, and she didn’t let that tiny mistake affect the rest of her performance.
Aslan, or the voice of, had everything you could want and more.
Deep and courageous, Chris Jared brought Aslan to life, in more ways than one – kind and encouraging, everything respected in a good hero.
Samantha Womack portrayed The White Witch fantastically, the ultimate cold hearted and manipulative villain, who even had her very own Defying Gravity moment at the end of act one.
Even Father Christmas (Johnson Willis, again) makes an energetic appearance, accompanied by his herd of dancing reindeer.
The ensemble cast were another level; incredible talent demonstrated by all in the way they multitask playing an instrument, singing, acting, and dancing at the same time, all while transitioning seamlessly between each discipline.
Brilliantly detailed, you can’t take your eyes off the puppets.
They are incredible, from the larger-than-life Aslan lion puppet – which takes three cast members to manoeuvre – to the individual headdresses of the soldiering animals, down to Schrodinger the cat. Each as magical as the next, and the movements organic, engaging, and convincing.
Music lives and breathes within the performance. Instruments like the cello, violin, clarinet, piano, and accordion (to name a few) are played and danced across the stage before your very eyes – quite literally bringing the music to life.
This is refreshing and unique to see, considering so often live orchestras are hidden beneath the stage.
The original songs are unfamiliar, but effective, especially with the recurring themes and repeated choruses throughout the production.
This show will have you feeling physically transported into Narnia, following the children and being engulfed by wardrobe doors.
The lighting is bright white, and snow falls on the stage, causing real chill in the air – be sure to wear your fur coat!
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is undeniably magical, and spectacular to behold with the special effects such as the steaming hot chocolate and flying birds.
You can leave behind the current bitter winter and transcend into a new, unknown, magical one.
This really isn’t one to miss.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is at The Lowry until 15th January 2022, with accessible performances available on selected dates throughout December. Tickets start at £15. Tickets are available here.