The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
“Magical” and “beautiful” were words that audience members used to sum up the LC1 and LC2 production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Mrs Richards, the director, created Narnia through the simplest and most elegant use of stagecraft, through the use of a wardrobe that split in two revealing a world of silver birches haunted by sinister figures dressed in white.
With subtle lighting design by Mr Williams and evocative sound design by Miss Thomas, including powerful narration by Rev Scott, this was a spell-binding piece of theatre that worked its magic on the audience.
The performances of the central roles were outstanding in their focus and characterisation. Georgia Speakman was an innocent and charming Lucy, while Celeste Aylott played Peter as stiff and proper with an upright posture. Imogen Shackleton was a gentle but serious Susan, while Jazzy Irvine brought out the vindictive and selfish nature of Edmund, while remaining convincing in his gradual realisation of his own folly.
The girls enjoy nothing more than a monstrous villain and Henrietta Mingay was a truly frightening White Witch, haughty and savage to the end. The audience were also charmed by the Beaver family, who at one point threatened to take the story over entirely as they brought the house down with their Beaver rap. Daisy Paternak (Mrs Beaver), Maddie Long (Mr Beaver), and Bonnie Grenslade, Eva Davidson and Jemima Bell (the three baby Beavers) win the cutest performance of the year. There were also excellent performances from Maddy Walters as the faun Mr Tumnus, Tara Hardy as the Professor and Lisette Hewin as a Scottish Mrs Macready.
The chorus of 14 girls were brilliant in their roles as spirits and tourists, as well as assorted fabulous animals. Their enthusiasm and energy on stage helped to give the production the polish and pace that kept the audience gripped by the action of the play. The coup de théâtre was of course the appearance of Aslan, a huge puppet that was operated with great skill by Yusra Metlo, Georgina Griffiths and Isabella Collins. His graceful movements on stage and the synchronisation of his mouth to his voice were totally convincing.
The crew, led by Stage Manager Jocelyn Ng and Deputy Stage Manager Christie Ma, showed complete confidence despite having a very complex set of lighting and sound cues to master. Ying Ong on the lighting desk and Ellie Albutt on sound worked with complete professionalism throughout.
Thanks to Mr Williams and Miss Thomas, our extraordinary technical team, who skillfully managed the direction of the production in the final weeks of rehearsal. The cast responded brilliantly to their leadership to create a truly enjoyable piece of theatre and an outstanding success, which will remain in our memories for many years. "For Narnia!"
Mark Smith, Director of Drama