Norwich’s Maddermarket Theatre set to be enchanted by the magical world of Narnia

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at The Maddermarket Theatre. Picture: Mark Ivan Benfield

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at The Maddermarket Theatre. Picture: Mark Ivan Benfield - Credit: Mark Ivan Benfield

Aslan the lion and the White Witch are heading to Norwich this Christmas as the magical world of Narnia casts its spell on a city theatre.

Staff and volunteers at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich working on the set and costumes for their

Staff and volunteers at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich working on the set and costumes for their production of The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. Wardrobe mistress Amanda Greenway. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the Maddermarket Theatre's festive show, and the venue's set and costume design teams are busily working away to create the fantastical land in which the classic story is set.

The CS Lewis tale sees wartime evacuees Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy take a trip through the wardrobe full of fur coats into Narnia, the snow-filled wonderland which is home to an array of animals and magical creatures.

With just under three weeks to go until opening night on December 18, many of the set and costume elements are taking shape – with everything from the White Witch's sleigh to the stone table being created in the theatre's workshops.

Director Peter Beck said the theatre had picked the story for its Christmas show because it was a favourite through the generations, and he said the production aimed to stay true to the original CS Lewis book.

Staff and volunteers at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich working on the set and costumes for their

Staff and volunteers at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich working on the set and costumes for their production of The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. Wardrobe mistress Amanda Greenway. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

'It is a timeless classic that is forever enchanting for people of all ages,' he said.

'It is a classic story of good conquering over evil in a magical land of adventure, mystery and intrigue.'

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And he said there were lots of visual treats in store for audience members.

'The play will be a feast for the senses, with lots of lighting, lots of sound, puppetry, actors playing different creatures, lots of wonderful, magical scenery, and even Father Christmas appearing on stage,' he said.

Staff and volunteers at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich working on the set and costumes for their

Staff and volunteers at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich working on the set and costumes for their production of The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Among those helping to create the world of Narnia is wardrobe mistress Amanda Greenway who is making all the costumes with the help of costume placement student Aimee Murphy and a team of volunteers.

Parts of the costumes for the White Witch, the Beavers, Mr Tumnus the faun and Aslan the lion are among those currently being worked on.

'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a favourite story of mine and your imagination can really go to town,' Ms Greenway said.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the theatre, building set designers Lucia Thompson and Alison Utting are creating what Miss Thompson described as a 'magical, wintry world' and a 'dreamy, papery wonderland.'

The ice palace, the Beavers' house and Mr Tumnus' home are among the elements being created, but audience members will have to wait until they take their seats before the whole enchanting world is revealed.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is at the Maddermarket Theatre, in Norwich, from December 18 until January 2. Tickets £10-£15. To book, call the box office on 01603 620917 or visit www.maddermarket.co.uk

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