Review: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at the Victoria Hall Theatre captures the magic of Narnia
Entertainment / Sat 17th Dec 2022 at 05:28pm
THE Victoria Hall Theatre presentation of The Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe was everything you would want for a magical Christmas show.
During the bombings of World War II in London, four siblings are sent to a country house where they will be safe. One day, Lucy finds a wardrobe that transports her to a magical world called Narnia. After coming back, she soon returns to Narnia with her brothers, Peter and Edmund, and her sister, Susan. There they join the magical lion, Aslan, in the fight against the evil White Witch.
First things first: the set. The set was worth entrance fee alone. How they managed to create the magical world of CS Lewis’ book is a thing of wonder. The wardrobe, the raised stage, the whole attention to detail was stunning.
But this was a children-centred story and so it was only fitting that young actors held centre stage.
Jack, Gabriel, Erin and Lexi showed not a hint of nerves on what was the first night and produced performances beyond their years.
The four main protagonists were a perfect ensemble. They all gave each other space to act and space to develop their roles.
But boy did they have a challenge in not being upstaged by the wonderful puppets from the tiny rabbits and fixes to the magisterial Aslan the Lion. Tremendous testimony to the work of Izzy Lacey.
In many ways, shows such as this embody the spirit of Christmas. Of course, pantomimes are fantastic and funny but the Victoria Hall Christmas shows are steeped in the traditions of the Christmas tale.
They are a salutary invitation for children to have rich imaginations and dream.
This was also true repertory theatre, where every actor worked for each other. Each adult inhabited their character but let the script breath and let the young actors take centre stage.
This included Wendy Eveson as The White Witch and Dan Ricketts as Aslan, who were both excellent.
Other characters such as Jack Navin and Emma Kent as Mr and Mrs Beaver were wonderful foils for other characters.
We are naming a lot of people here and it was a testament to direction and choreography that in such a small space they never put a foot wrong. With beasts coming out of the bottom of the stage to reindeer going up the side of the theatre, everyone had to be on point.
There was also clever use of the whole theatre that helped the audience feel part of the performance.
There was also a number of great musical numbers that gave a modern feel yet felt like an integral part of the story. All the singers were great. They were all heroes and not just for one day.
We just hope that everyone appreciates the sheer hard work that went into this production especially Life Changing Construction Limited who put the hours in to create the magical stage.
High praise must also be given to director Martin Colton who has given so much over the last year to bring this show to the stage.
Community theatre needs people like Martin, who have such passion, belief and, most of all talent.
Unsurprisingly, all seventeen nights have been sold out. That is something else and shows that, as they say, if you build it, great community theatre, that is magical and inspirational, then they will come.
Keep in touch with the Victoria Hall Theatre. A jewel in Harlow’s crown.
Went to the opening show and wow - such staging and just fascinating to watch. Absolutely the perfect little trip for Christmas 🎄
Saw this today ! Blown away by the professional show. Well done Martin and team.
Fantastic show and worthy of all the great reviews. I was captivated from start to finish. Stunning set, costumes and such a wonderful cast who brought my childhood favourite to life. Slight modern musical twist but fits in brilliantly. If you're able to get a last minute ticket then you should!
So proud of my nephew and sister in law that star in the show 🌟🌟
Would really like to know more about the group that put this production on. My husband and i watched the show last night, and really enjoyed it