Theatre

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at the Lichfield Garrick Review

23-27 July 2019

Reviewed by Katy Nettleton

This was my first time watching a “Community Musical Production” and it won’t be my last, it was thoroughly engaging, thought provoking and professional.

Even in this heat, the cast continued without error, and which would not have been an easy task with the audience waving the kindly loaned fans and the heat radiating off everyone.

Although it is a long time since I have read the book, by 9-year-old girls insisted that the story was closely followed! And that their never fading gaze demonstrates the way in which the audience was drawn into the story and production.

The opening scene captured your imagination and attention, with the cast coming from all angles to access the stage.

The performances by the Pevensie children – Peter (Adam Pritchard), Susan (Harriet Caddick), Edmund (Ben Ogden) and Lucy (Molly Summers) was without fault, and lead us onto the world of Narnia, one which enabled each child to discover themselves and overcome barriers to escape the world of the White Witch and have a Christmas again. My girls did not stop singing “always winter, never Christmas” all the way home!

The singing was amazing, the voices of all the cast were unique, strong and you could hear and feel every word. The singing range of the Wicked Witch (Ellicia Smith) was amazing and you fully felt her menace and hatred for Aslan, the King of the Wood (Nick Baker). The way in which Nick Baker played the Professor and Aslan, was brilliant, his interpretation of the cat was just purely brilliant, which demonstrates the professionalism of this project. 

The staging was simple but yet effective, with changes between scenes going seamlessly and being brought into the story, which for me I do like in a show. As was the choreography, the way in which they moved together, linked the scenes but involved all the cast. This shows a great community production, one that involves everyone with various degrees of skills, and abilities and with all the smiles on their faces at the end I should imagine they enjoyed themselves. I couldn’t write a review without adding that the highlight of the show, for my girls was the real snow and a visit from Santa! this made all the children in the audience gasp with amazement!

My only slight critique would be that for a musical there was not as much “singing” as I would have expected, but those songs which were sung were done with heart and soul.

This was a BSL interpreted performance and as I work with deaf children, I will thoroughly recommend this to them for future events they attend. The interpreter was engaging and followed the story closely and without significant time delay.

I think for an amateur production, this was brilliant, and a true credit to this is that one of my daughters came home and asked if she could start drama and musical theatre as she wants to be on the stage! So, thank you for all those involved, for inspiring others to follow you.

Thank you for a brilliant evening.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £13.50 (booking fees may apply).

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is at the Lichfield Garrick from 23-27 July 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com or call the box office on 01543 412121.

Lichfield Garrick Theatre, Castle Dyke, Lichfield, WS13 6HR | 01543 412121

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