The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe has found its home at the Birmingham Rep this Christmas producing a fantastic blend of creativity that’s bound to leave audiences enchanted. Mixing different artistic elements, the production is a captivating spectacle that goes beyond expectations for young and old.

For those unfamiliar with this classic novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe follows the adventures of four siblings who are evacuated to the English countryside during World War II. While exploring a wardrobe in their new home, Lucy stumbles upon a magical world called Narnia. The land is under the spell of the White Witch, who has plunged it into perpetual winter. With the help of mystical creatures, including the great lion Aslan, the siblings embark on a heroic quest to defeat the Witch and bring warmth and freedom back to Narnia. Along the way, they encounter talking animals, face challenges, and discover the true meaning of courage and sacrifice.

The journey begins as the audience steps through the wardrobe, leaving wartime Britain behind and entering a realm of magic and wonder. The seamless transition from reality to fantasy is a testament to the skillful direction of Michael Fentiman and keeps audiences enthralled throughout.

Kudzai Mangombe, Jerome Scott, Liyah Summers, and Daniel Apea bring an extra layer of depth and charm to the iconic characters of Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter. With their nuanced portrayals, these talented actors not only embody the essence of C.S. Lewis’s beloved characters but also breathe life into them, allowing the audience to connect on a more profound level. Each member of this cast adds a unique flavour to the sibling dynamics, making the characters relatable and endearing.

Beautifully bought to stage, the heart of the production lies in its magical storytelling through word and song. The narrative unfolds with a perfect balance of adventure, suspense, and heart-warming moments, with the accompanying folklore-style music weaving through the narrative, seamlessly transitioning between hauntingly sombre tones and lively, upbeat jigs as it carries through a rollercoaster of emotions, from the joyous reunions to the epic battles against the forces of darkness.

Tom Paris’s set and costume design contribute significantly to the production’s captivating visuals, creating a world that is both immersive and fantastical. The flawless execution of puppetry is another great addition. The arrival of Aslan on stage, brought to life by the exceptional talents of Michael Larcombe, Will Hawksworth, and Anu Ogunmefun, supported by Oliver Hoare in a more physical/human form, is a theatrical moment that lingers long after the curtain falls.

With its magical storytelling, bewitching stagecraft, and memorable characters, this adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s classic novel is a must-see for anyone seeking an escape into a realm of fantasy and wonder. Did we also mention that Santa Claus makes a special guest appearance?!

Having enjoyed a triumphant run in the West End and a successful tour across the UK and Ireland, this production brings West End quality to the heart of Birmingham. The set design, costumes, and overall production values result in a wonderfully festive theatrical experience.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is on show now up to 28th January. For more information and to book, visit Birmingham Rep.