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David Porter » Reviews » The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Harleston Players at Archbishop Sancroft High School, Harleston

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 2 February 2009

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

On one level, it’s a children’s story of myths and legends.

In fact, it’s the story of Jesus dying for another, and in the script by Adrian Mitchell from the original novel by CS Lewis, it’s an ambitious epic.

Harleston Players combine skills of a large cast of children and adults, a large thrust area into three sides of audience for acting space and journeys, with the skills of director Cathy Gill to create an experience of Christian writing into performance.

Starting in wartime England before the four children(not easy roles and handled well by Jordan Smith, Hannah Richards, Jake Williams and Nellie Unsworth) go through the wardrobe into a frozen Narnia, the pace, the sense of period and stage logistics are all sustained strongly.

The White Witch (Sappho Clissit) is wonderfully evil and Mike Davison as Aslan, the Lion King, captures the authority of the animal with the mercy of God.

Other roles are supportive through good acting or physical movement. The music is their own home-grown and animal costumes are very effective. The fight and Aslan’s sacrifice are both dramatic and moving.

‘Once a King in Narnia, always a King …’ and a little of the magic of that parallel world is inside most of us.

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