The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe – review

Bridge Theatre
Review by: Selina Julien
Published: Thursday, 28th November 2019, 6:43pm
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If you’re looking for some festive magic then look no further than Sally Cookson’s wonderful adaptation of CS Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. The much-loved children’s classic comes to London two years after its triumphant run at the Leeds Playhouse and it doesn’t disappoint.

For kids not familiar with the tale, the plot is easy enough to follow as we’re transported to the Second World War where the evacuated Pevensie children find themselves in an eccentric professor’s eerie mansion. Things take a quirky turn when they step through the infamous wardrobe into the fantastical kingdom of Narnia, where they encounter a talking Faun, a heroic Lion and the heartless White Witch.

The much-loved children’s classic doesn’t disappoint.

Flipping the script, playing the Pevensie siblings are Keziah Joseph (Lucy), John Leader (Edmund), Femi Akinfolarin (Peter) and Shalisha James-Davis (Susan). Not only did they effortlessly guide us through the heartwarming tale, but as four black actors cast in leading roles they did so while making a powerful statement about representation and rewriting the narrative for generations to come.

Other standout performances peppered through the production include Waking The Dead star Wil Johnson who tranforms from bumbling, bespectacled Professor Kirke to the captivating force that is Aslan, Dean Nolan and Beverly Rudd as Mr and Mrs Beaver, and Tim Dalling as the accordion-playing, clog-wearing Santa Claus.

Mesmerising, funny and uplifting, this sparkly production should be on everyone’s Christmas list

This epic spectacle comes alive through clever lighting, superb set design and props – snow-covered Narnia is evoked using billowing parachute silk, while spring is signalled by aerial ballet – stunning costumes and an excellent cast.

Mesmerising, funny and uplifting, this sparkly production should be on everyone’s Christmas list this year as it’s as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids!

NEED TO KNOW: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe is on until 2 February 2020. See listing / Book tickets