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Posted on Mon 20 Nov
Snow isn’t forecast quite yet, but the ice-covered world of Narnia is just one step away at Birmingham Rep.
This year's Christmas production at the venue is The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, a show that comes straight from the West End and which will surely delight children and adults alike.
In keeping with the book, we join Edmund, Susan, Peter and Lucy as evacuees in wartime Britain and follow their journey to live with a mysterious professor.
One day they discover a portal in the back of a wardrobe and are transported to the magical world of Narnia, where their adventure truly begins.
This excellent production features a stunning array of music, illusion and puppetry, bringing to life CS Lewis' wonderful and much-loved story.
The puppets are fantastic, from the large Aslan lion down to the very small mice and the hilarious Schrioedinger the cat, who never fails to raise a laugh from the audience.
There are three puppeteers operating the Aslan puppet but the skilled artistry and illusion of this show means you hardly even notice. You are simply too entranced by the lifelike and all-consuming presence of this beautifully created beast.
The cast are simply a delight to watch. Those playing the children are full of childlike innocence yet rugged determination, Aslan is as enigmatic and as mysterious as you would expect, and the white witch is downright terrifying. Prepare to be truly blown away as she takes flight!
But my favourite part of this wonderful show is the actor musicians, who sing and dance as they bring Narnia to life through song. The show opens with the tinkling of the ivories, immediately setting the scene for what is to come. Nearly every scene is backed by a host of orchestra-level performers who help shape the story through powerful performances on the cello, double bass, violin and guitar.
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe is simply live theatre at its very best - so don't delay; buy yourself a ticket asap and head to Narnia for a magical Christmas experience.
Reviewed by Fiona McCarthy at The Rep, Birmingham, Friday 17 November. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe continues to show at the venue until Sunday 28 January.
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