Photo credit: http://unitedagents.co.uk/node/5360
Cut and pasted from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Website:
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
World Premiere: 8 May to 9 September 2012
Original novel: C.S.Lewis
Stage Adaptation: Rupert Goold
Directors: Rupert Goold and Michael Fentiman
Following the international smash-hit production of Peter Pan, threesixty returns to London's historic Kensington Gardens to create another enchanting theatrical experience.
Open the door and enter a spectacular new world with Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy as they journey through the magical land of Narnia.
Adored by all ages this major new production of the classic story has been created by an award-winning team. The first installment from C. S. Lewis' beloved 'Chronicles of Narnia' series, it combines live theatre with Threesixty's ground-breaking surround video and enchanting puppetry performed in a state-of-the art theatre tent.
Set against the backdrop of Kensington Palace, this exquisite event promises to be the ultimate summer experience in the park.
Follow the link for the full production details, to see the AMAZING trailer, and to book tickets:
First up. "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" and me. I just LOVED this book as a little girl growing up and it was one of my most beloved children's books, definitely one of my favourites. The reason the novel spoke to me so strongly was the enchanted and magical land of Narnia and the ultimate triumph of Good over Evil. When I read this novel as a little girl, although I was well aware that the book could be seen as a Christian allegory, that was not how I read the book or how I saw the book.
I saw this production on the evening of Thursday 28 June and I just absolutely LOVED it! - it was PERFECT.
I had bought the cheapest ticket in the House but it was also (totally randomly!) the best seat in the House - I was on the front row (row A section C). The production is performed in the round and was very much in the round.
The Wardrobe was just how I imagined it to be and the entry into the magical land of Narnia was superb. Throughout the whole production, the visual video backdrops, the staging, the puppetry, the costumes, the music, the soundtrack, and the actors combined in perfect harmony to recreate the enchanting and magical world of Narnia. You, as an audience member, were totally transported to this new and magical world along with the children. The production brought Narnia fully to life. To follow Daphne du Maurier's novel "Rebecca", "Last night I dreamt I went to Narnia again".
All the creatures who inhabit Narnia were done brilliantly. The best was Aslan which was a work of sheer genius. Aslan does not make an appearance until the second half but, when he did, he got a huge round of applause from the audience because the puppetry was so impressive. In my humble opinion, the puppetry on Aslan was the best I have seen since War Horse and The Lion King and, in fact, Aslan has a lot in common with the way Joey is staged. I was so moved when I saw Aslan I cried (and I am not joking!). David Suchet voices Aslan and the voice is just right - it contains assurance, power, authority and majesty. I think it is the best Aslan I have ever seen. Ten out of ten! As near perfection as you can get.
I have deliberately decided NOT to post any production photos - if you want to see a video/photos you can watch the trailer on the official website or just use google to track the photos down. The reason I have made this decision is that I personally went to see the production "blind", having seen no production shots re Aslan, Maugrim, the beavers, the faun, the other magical creatures etc, and that was one of the main reasons why I was literally blown away by the production. I think if you are going to see the show, you should wait and see the creatures/animals for the first time when you see the show, as the children would have done, so you can share in their excitement, amazement and just sheer awe at the spectacle. I am especially pleased I had not seen any photos of Aslan; when I saw him for the first time he just floored me! I will however post production photos after the show closes on 9 September.
As I said, I loved the original novel. This production is very true to the writing, the story and the intent of the original novel. The actors - human and non-human - to my mind anyway, perfectly embodied the characters in the original novel.
The theme of the battle between Good and Evil is brought out very strongly in this production. The White Witch and her acolytes definitely represent pure evil. When they come on during the scene involving the sacrifice of Aslan there is a heavy use of the colour red (eg lighting) to represent danger, evil and hell. In the production Aslan destroys the White Witch and, for someone like me who is passionate about justice being delivered, it is very satisfying to see the forces of Good defeat Evil.
Now, being a Christian, Aslan's sacrifice of his own life to save Edmund, and his subsequent Resurrection, speaks to my heart in a different way to the way that it did in my childhood. I think that is why I cried when Aslan came on stage - because of who he represented. The message of the ultimate triumph of Good over Evil is one that I desperately want to believe in; in fact it is a message I do believe in. I was also very moved by Aslan saying that "Evil fears nothing more than courage"; I believe that to be very true.
In summary, that evening I was transported to the world of Narnia, a world of enchantment, filled with magical creatures, and a perfect Aslan. Narnia, a land of magic and enchantment, was beautifully created. The production was out of this world - it was OUTSTANDING.
It is expensive to see this - but I think it is worth every penny.
Very very very highly recommended - Go see!