The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

UEA Studio, Norwich

> UEA Studio, Norwich

With more than 200 young actors in the cast, everyone has been talking about this production by Norwich Young People's Theatre.

And the opening night saw C S Lewis's classic transformed by the magic of theatre into an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza, complete with four-piece jazz outfit.

Although the show opened in the dingy passageways of an old mansion, we were swiftly transported into the wardrobe and out the other side into the icy blues of Narnia.

The children – Peter (Freddie Goymer), Susan (Emily Simmonds), Lucy (Amelia Goymer) and Edmund (Daniel Rose) – were full of wartime zest and joviality, and made amusing companions as we travelled around the fabulous, wintry land, meeting benevolent fauns who could talk (Siobhan Turner), the white witch who might turn us to stone with her petrifyingly wonderful voice (Nicola Steel), and, of course, Aslan, the sovereign Lion (Jessica Read).

It was a bit unfocused the first night, and perhaps a little tentative, but the storytelling was pacey and very high on the 'ah' factor, with many earnest, animal-clad children.

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Eve Stebbing

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