The much loved family classic, CS Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is bought to life this Christmas, with actor-musicians, superb story-telling and magical music, directed by the Sherman Theatre’s Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan. Running from 4 – 31 December 2015.
The script, adapted by Theresa Heskins, beautifully captures the spirit and adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy as they go through the Wardrobe, and meet kindly Mr Tumnus, Aslan the brave lion and the cruel and wicked White Witch!
“It’s she who makes it always winter. Always winter and never Christmas. Think of that!”
This is perfect family entertainment, with a cast of 10, including familiar faces from last year’s hugely popular Arabian Nights. Anita Reynolds plays the White Witch. Keiron Self, (Arabian Nights and the BBC’s My Family) continues his exceptional work as multiple characters including Professor Kirk and Father Christmas; Elin Philips, (Arabian Nights, A Christmas Carol and Snow Child ) takes on the role of eldest sister Susan; and Peter Ashmore who has performed across the UK from Beauty and the Beast (Mercury Theatre) to Mansfield Park (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds) comes back to Cardiff to play Mr Tumnus.
Gwawr Loader, is also know to Sherman audiences for her roles in The Sleeping Beauties and Leviathon, will play youngest sister Lucy. She has performed with numerous companies including National Theatre Wales, The Radicalisation of Bradly Manning, Tonypandimonium.
Cardiff local Joseph Tweedale returns home to perform for the first time on the Sherman stage, after working across UK. He takes on the role of oldest brother Peter. Finally Matthew Woodyatt, who has performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Arts Theatre, West End); One Man, Two Guvnors (West End, UK & International Tour); and Silly Kings, The Passion of Port Talbot (National Theatre of Wales) will be playing the iconic Aslan the Lion.
New to the Sherman is Matthew Durkan who plays Edmund. Matthew recently left a career as an accountant to tour the UK as Crowther in History Boys.
Howard Chadwick, who studied at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama 25 years ago, has since worked across the UK, including productions from classic Shakespeare, A Midsummer’s Nights Dream at the Royal Exchange to Brassed Off at Derby Theatre, plays Mr Beaver. Alongside him is Mrs Beaver, played by the multi-talented Kate Robson Stuart, (Much Ado About Nothing, Stafford Gatehouse; A Christmas Carol, Derby Theatre.)
The production is an ensemble piece with all actors performing, singing and playing instruments. Once again, music features as a key part of the production and has original composition by Connor Mitchell and Musical Direction by Gareth Wyn Griffiths. The music is a stunning aspect of the show with spectacular choral and orchestral arrangements created to reflect the changing worlds within the production.
Alongside the music, lies the beautiful set design by London designer takis. Revolving floors, moving staircases and transforming wardrobes, alongside intricate versatile costumes transform the actors through an array of characters and transport the audience through the wardrobe into the magical world of Narnia.
Rachel O’Riordan continues to create outstanding high quality work at the Sherman, and this is her latest production following on from A Doll’s House and Iphigenia in Splott (which transfers to The National Theatre, in January 2016) and last year’s Arabian Nights.