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Monday, 16 April 2012 (3025550)
Champion Review
by Guest

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Waterloo and Crosby Theatre Company Youth Production

Blundellsands United Reformed Church Hall

Review by Jenny Robson

ANY actor will tell you it can be a mistake to work with children or animals. But ... what about children dressed as animals? Well, in this shining production it became a winning combination with creative casting by the team at Waterloo and Crosby holding audiences spellbound.

First published in 1950 C S Lewis’s famous fantasy novel is now available in 47 languages to thrill children everywhere.

Four evacuees are sent to safety to escape war-torn London. Whilst exploring their new surroundings the youngest, Lucy (Poppy Hart – what a darling!) is the first to discover the land of ice-bound Narnia lying beyond the wardrobe. Disbelieving at first, her siblings – Peter (Alex Burke), Susan (Jessica Latham) and Edmund (Thomas Corcoran) - soon see for themselves how much excitement lies between the racks of fur coats.

New friends are waiting – Mr Tumnus (Michael Gibson), Mr and Mrs Beaver (Red McCarthy and Laura Boylan), Aslan (Lucan Frost), and Father Christmas (Matthew Low).

A host of other witty characters and charming animals completed the cast with the help of a talented choir and a four-piece band led by Charles Moss.

The captivating frosty white set transformed cleverly into a sparkle of summer sunshine in Act 2 and the costumes, masks and make-up were first-class. Alex Appleton’s choreography was spot on ensuring that her characters literally never put a foot wrong.

Leo Appleton has excelled himself again with this full-scale youth musical; this was a brave and adventurous project and his direction was superb.

So the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve restored contentment to Narnia and the powers of the White Witch (Olivia Taylor-Goy) were banished forever.

There were tears in my eyes during the final emotional walk-down.

Score: 8 out of 10. What a talented bunch; all aged between 6 and 13. Lovely!


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