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The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe at Sherman Cymru. Image Mark Douet  By CS Lewis     CAST  Pete Ashmore as Mr Tumnus  Matthew Durkan as Edmund  Gwawr Loader as Lucy  Elin Philips as Susan  Anita Reynolds as the White Witch  Howard Chadwick as Mr Beaver  Kate Robson-Stuart as Mrs Beaver  Keiron Self as Professor Kirk  Joseph Tweedale as Peter  Matthew Woodyatt as Aslan  PRODUCTION TEAM

It's Christmas show time again and this year we sent Megan Morgan (11 years old) to review Sherman Cymru's interpretation of CS Lewis' first tale in the Narnia Chronicles and give us a response from the perspective of the target audience. She didn't let us down as you will see in this perceptive response.

As always the Sherman delivered a stunning Christmas performance, well it's the second one I ve been to, and it was just as good if not better than last year's Arabian Nights.

Some of the performers were the same as last year, as was the director and musical director [all cast and prorduction crew listed below], and obviously with some new faces among the ten performers, well eleven if you count the musical director, who was on the stage performing non-stop.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe at The Sherman Theatre. Photo by Mark Douet. I80A0014

The house was full, and everyone from small children, some much younger than the recommended seven years of age, (one crying baby seemed to want to take part in the action), up to grandparents, were full of anticipation as the lights went down.

I knew the story, mainly from reading the book, but I ve also seen the film and, knowing the story, I think they kept to the plot-line very well, obviously with their own humorous twists and some necessary editing, with ten actors needing to play the parts of many more characters.

And what a good cast they are, multi-tasking between acting, singing and playing all the live music themselves - well, apart from squirrel man, I mean the musical director!

The staging was simple, but ingenious, using only three fixed elements... that moved! Using the Sherman's magic moving floor, the staircases, which were initially aligned on the stage, frequently moved indicating a different purpose, from simple steps to a grand carriage for the White Witch.

As well as the physical staging, the design of the lighting and projections, such as trees, windows, leaves and colours that reflected the mood, helped bring the action to life.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe at The Sherman Theatre. Photo by Mark Douet. C31B7221

Whilst the children's costumes were very realistic, looking like evacuated schoolchildren, costumes such as Aslan and the beavers, hinted enough to create a strong impression. Aslan's yellow suit and what looked like shaggy sort of cardigan (I was quite a way back from the stage), together with his beard were enough to convince me he was a lion (temporarily)

The most impressive thing, for me, was how the production put images in my mind from simple acting and staging, combined with the lines the actors spoke.

 

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe at The Sherman Theatre. Photo by Mark Douet. C31B7511

Sometimes it was difficult to follow the words when they were singing, but I did enjoy the music all the same.

There were plenty of roles for both genders, I didn't really have a favourite character or actor, and that s what I think is good about ensemble acting.

I tried hard to think of a favourite line, but the only one that popped into my head was, "What do they teach them at school these days?"

It was difficult to tell what other audience members were thinking during the show, when I looked round they seemed quiet and paying attention, but when it came to the interval and the final curtain the applause was tremendous with two curtain calls after the final bow.

I thoroughly enjoyed the performance, it was a perfect Saturday night treat, and I really look forward to reviewing more shows at the Sherman in the following years to come.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe at The Sherman Theatre. Photo by Mark Douet. C31B6627

 

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is at Sherman Cymru to 31 December 2015 To find out more about the production or book tickets please go towww.shermancymru.co.uk

All images: Mark Douet, courtesy of Sherman Cymru

CAST

Pete Ashmore as Mr TumnusMatthew Durkan as EdmundGwawr Loader as LucyElin Philips as SusanAnita Reynolds as the White WitchHoward Chadwick as Mr BeaverKate Robson-Stuart as Mrs BeaverKeiron Self as Professor KirkJoseph Tweedale as PeterMatthew Woodyatt as Aslan

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director Rachel O'RiordanAdaptation by Theresa HeskinsDesigner takisComposer Conor MitchellLighting Designer Kevin TreacyVideo & Projection Designer - Dick StrakerMusical Director Gareth Wyn GriffithsSound Designer Sophie SmithFight Director Kevin McCurdyAssistant Director Jac Ifan MooreAssociate Designer Rosie MotionCasting Director Kay Magson CDGCompany Stage Manager Chris PetersonDeputy Stage Manager Charlotte UnwinAssistant Stage Manager Steffi PickeringAssistant Carpenter Johanna LloyHead of Wardrobe Deryn TudorWardrobe Assistant Angharad GriffinWardrobe Assistant Dan ThatcherDresser Sarah BecsProps Maker and Scenic Artist Charlotte NevillePainter Bethany SeddonTech Swing Josh Betoin