A visually stunning performance which firmly planted me back in my childhood.
The CS Lewis novel of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is one which had captivated imaginations, young and old. So, when I went to see Sally Cookson’s creation at the West Yorkshire Playhouse I was intrigued to learn how it would transport us back into the world of Narnia.
The auditorium at the West Yorkshire Playhouse has been transformed into the round and although the circular space constricts the use of scenery, it does allow the audience to see the magic being made; bedsheets became blankets of snow and suitcases turn into most enchanting train.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe tells the story of four war time evacuees whose venture through an old wardrobe sets them on a courageous journey to save the mystical world of Narnia from the evil White Witch.
“This must be a simply enormous wardrobe!” thought Lucy, going still further in and pushing the soft folds of the coats aside to make room for her. Then she noticed that there was something crunching under her feet. “I wonder is that more moth balls?” she thought, stooping down to feel it with her hands. But instead of feeling the hard, smooth wood of the floor of the wardrobe, she felt something soft and powdery and extremely cold. “This is very queer,” she said, and went on a step or two further. (1.23)
The performance was a rich mix of theatrical magic, eye-catching puppetry and captivating aerial displays. Although no longer on, I really hope theatres up and down the country get to go through the wardrobe and experience such a visually impressive performance.
P.S. thank you to the West Yorkshire Playhouse for inviting me.