Growing up I had always enjoyed going to the theatre during the festive season, however now having a 6 year child who has sensitive hearing we haven’t ventured to the theatre before but my 4 year old son desperately wanted to see “the Lion the witch and wardrobe” at the Sherman theatre so off we went with ear defenders in tow!
From the moment we sat down both my kids were intrigued by the intimacy of the theatre. The dark stage set the scene, depicting what was a scary time for the pensive children Edmund, Lucy, Susan and Peter – who are played by adult actors – Matthew Durkan, Gwawr Loader, Elin Philips and Joseph Tweedale. Tweedale being a big hit with my boys, principally because of his sword- fighting proficiency!
Peter Ashmore delights as the faun Mr. Tumnus although it would have been nice to seen more of him. However the quick costume change and Ashmore made a great addition to the white witches entourage. Anita Reynolds is commanding as the White Witch and swathes about in her white caped costume.
I was unsure how a small cast was going to fill this enchanting story but the use of narration from all the cast took the audience through the journey and added detail when needed. Then came the magic revolving floor which carried the cast from train station to the country and then on through the spare room to the wardrobe and beyond to Narnia!!!
Keiron Self began as the professor Kirk however transformed into a suitably accurate performance of a wolf that paraded about the stage with eloquentmovements. But one of the highlights had to be the musical director Gareth Wyn Griffiths who depicted a squirrel scene with brilliance.
Aslan finally made an appearance as played by Matthew Woodyatt who added grace to the performance of this majestically creature. Both my boys were enthralled, and couldn’t wait to see more in this second half
– and what a second half it was! Action packed with fight scenes, magic and the white witch being taken down by Aslan!!
As quoted by my 4 year old “amazing”, what a great first experience at the theatre for my boys, we will definitely be making the theatre a regular occasion for the whole family!!
Words by Amy Joyce