This is a classic tale for both young and old alike and a treat for the whole family. It is the first in the iconic “Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis detailing the discovery of the glorious but troubled land of Narnia at the back of the wardrobe where children can become Kings and Queens. The White Witch reigns with frozen hate and all wish for the return of Aslan, the Lion.
This is a good production from Next Stage and also involves participation from the excellent youth company too. Characterisation is strong and the direction from Ann Ellison is full of ideas and very effective, allowing the story to unfold and enchant the audience.

Costumes are excellent as is the make up for the various creatures whilst the original music by Callum Adler is atmospheric and subtle.

Lucy Pevensie (Jenny McGlynn) is a tender, naive young girl; capturing a real innocence in the script whilst Ren Leming and Judy Yeates as Mr. and Mrs. Beaver are great comic fun. The baddies are clearly in their element Hannah Smyth is an elegant, fearsome White Witch with a lovely side kick in Will Greensides. The arrival of Aslan, on this occasion played by Andrew Ellison changes the focus and the play turns to its resolution.

This is a true company production without a weak link in a fiercely strong chain of production and performance values

A great morality tale and one that resonates deeply on many levels, it is safe in the hands of Next Stage as they roll on to their date in August at the fabulous Minack Theatre in Cornwall, I cannot imagine there will be any empty seats by the time it crosses the border.


Petra Schofield


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