Monday, December 29, 2008

"The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe" - December 2008

For our final show of 2008 we headed through to Edinburgh for the Lyceum's adaptation of CS Lewis' novel. And with Christmas being a time for family and all that we brought a few members of the extended Muppet family along with us - all of whom seemed to greatly enjoy the afternoon.

Opening with a fantastic set piece that sees the children evacuated from the city, through clever direction and lighting we follow their train journey through to their arrival at their temporary home. And even though entirely unspoken, the performances are so well crafted that they serve as a good introduction to each of the characters.

The four children are played by Scott Hoatson (Peter), Jenny Hulse (Susan), Neil Thomas (Edmund) and Amy McAllister (Lucy) who despite the inherent difficulties in playing characters obviously younger than their years, do an excellent job of bringing them life. As the White Witch, Meg Fraser provides just the right level of threat while Daniel Williams makes for an impressive Aslan and the rest of the cast provide strong support.

With a considerable younger contingent in the audience it's clearly an advantage to limit the run time (just over two hours including an interval) but as a result the story does seem somewhat rushed, and characters don't always get sufficient stage time to really make the impact they should - particularly Aslan, Peter & Susan.

While the show perhaps lacks the sparkle to make it truly memorable, that shouldn't take away from what is an effectively told tale that kept the audience enthralled throughout.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe runs at the Lyceum until 3rd January.
Image by Alan McCredie used with permission