The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
The Garage, Norwich
> The Garage, Norwich
For this Youth Theatre production, the Wardrobe is in a Garage - the studio space of the Theatre Royal.
Ignore (if you can) the forthcoming Disney film. Director David Lambert's musical adaptation is more about the power of imagination rather than any dramatic special effects.
A scene-setting black and white illustration is projected as a backdrop. The rest of the magic is up to the cast.
And what a spell they weave.
Peter (Thomas Sparkes) and Susan (Sophie Utting) are spot on as the older siblings teetering on the brink of adult responsibility.
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Lucy (Phoebe Thompson) is completely charming , and Sam Claflin's Edmund is an assured and moving performance.
“You are first born,” Aslan tells Peter, “and must be high king above all the rest.”
This is Edmund's tragedy - he has no sense of place in his family, or in this strange world.
Freddie Hutchins is the kind-hearted yet loyally torn Mr Tumnus and there's a comic turn from Barry Givens as the voice of Rumblebuffin, a giant more Norfolk than Narnia.
There is excellent ensemble playing from the whole company.
The music enhances what is a faithful rendition of the book.
It's a late night if there's school the next day, but just like Edmund's enchanted Turkish delight, as a pre-Christmas treat this production, which runs until next Saturday, is irresistible.