If you want some adventure, then all you must do is open those wardrobe doors and step into the Alexandra Theatre where The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Tour has transported itself to town.
This lavish retelling of the classic 1950’s novel by CS Lewis has had a revamp from director Michael Fentiman, whose theatricalisation of the time-honoured novel has been in rehearsal; this production itself is based upon Sally Cookson’s acclaimed stage adaptation that premiered in Leeds late in 2017 before finding a London home 2 years later at the Bridge Theatre.
The book is a favourite for many and Fentiman brilliantly navigates the mythical, and magical atmosphere onstage. The production features an incredible ensemble who really took the phrase ‘triple threat’ to a whole new level. Their enthusiasm truly shone throughout the performance; it was infectious. They took upon many roles such as actors’, musicians, singers, and dancers. It was wonderful to see how interactive they were when they were playing their instruments and there was an eclectic range of instruments played and it was interesting to see that variety.
The special effects were incredible, so vast and varied, from visual effects such as the light up train to the flying in the air. It’s clear to see why this is such a spellbinding production. The children in the audience were mesmerised by the magic happening onstage, seeing all their favourite characters come to life. The use of puppetry in the production is seamless, led by puppetry director, Toby Olié, and puppetry designer, Max Humphries, both leading bodies in this fast-evolving world. They have carefully crafted the puppets so that they serve to the story rather than just being a token gimmick.
A special mention must go out to the four performers, Ammar Duffus, Shaka Kalokoh, Robyn Sinclair, and Karise Yansen playing the Pevensie children. They were so talented and the bond they shared on stage was truly wonderful to watch.
The production really allows you to be transported into believing in something impossible, something bigger. You leave the theatre with your imagination being challenged, feeling nostalgic of the innocence of when you were a child, full of wonder. Children leave feeling full of excitement and joy, having had a stimulating watch. If you are looking for something for all the family or for an enjoyable night out, then go get yourself a ticket because it’s absolutely worth the watch.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe continues between Tuesday 8th- Saturday 12th March 2022 at The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham Box office: 0844 871 3011 www.atgtickets.com/venues/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham Due to popular demand an additional matinee has been added on Thursday 10th March.
Reviewer: Priya Gupta
Reviewed: 8th March 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★