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Norwich theatre’s joy as thousands enjoy a trip through the wardrobe into Narnia

07:00 28 January 2016

The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe cast at the Maddermarket Theatre. Aslan (Mark Kitto) and White Witch (Laura Landamore).
 PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY.

The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe cast at the Maddermarket Theatre. Aslan (Mark Kitto) and White Witch (Laura Landamore). PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY.

The magical world of Narnia had an enchanting effect on a Norwich theatre’s box office sales over Christmas.

The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe cast at the Maddermarket Theatre. 
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY.The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe cast at the Maddermarket Theatre. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY.

The Maddermarket Theatre has said its festive production of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe topped all previously known records at the venue, with all 18 of the show’s performances selling out during its two-week run.

More than 5,000 people enjoyed watching the stage adaptation of the classic CS Lewis tale in which four wartime evacuees find themselves transported to Narnia, a fantastical, snow-filled land which is home to an array of animals and magical creatures.

Peter Beck, joint creative director at the theatre and director of the show, said: “The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe broke all box office records this Christmas.

“We enjoyed full houses over 18 shows, with people having to be placed on the waiting list for returns or sadly turned away.

“It is a position every theatre dreams of, and we are delighted to have produced a show that has been so popular. Many staff and volunteers work very hard to create and deliver what we do, and so it makes it very rewarding when this happens.”

Alongside the excellent ticket sales, the theatre enjoyed a boost with the amount of refreshments and programmes being sold.

Sales of Ronaldo Ices ice cream, including a Turkish delight flavour inspired by the show, increased by 12pc from the previous year, with 1,563 pots sold.

About 1,000 programmes were given out in return for a voluntary donation, up 38pc on the previous year.

Tickets also sold out for the theatre’s Narnia-themed grotto where children went through the wardrobe to meet Father Christmas.

The Maddermarket Theatre’s 2016/17 Christmas show will be Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine, adapted for the stage by Stuart Paterson and directed by Peter Sowerbutts. 
The show will run from December 
16 to 31 and tickets are already on sale. For more information and to book, visit www.maddermarket.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 620917.

Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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