Review Of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe at The Birmingham Rep

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I attended the Birmingham Rep Theatre to see this show. I had fond memories of the tv series ( chronicles) which were on the TV as a child so I had to see this show. 

A simple piano arrangement started the show before the main action started. Set against the WW2 evacuees and the families they went to live with, this story tells the story of 4 children – the Pevensie children as they experience another world through a portal in the back of a wardrobe. 

This was also a preview show, which essentially means things might swap change before its official night out. The show runs until 28th January 2024. 

I absolutely loved the train journey scene, it reminded me of a toy train you get at Christmas and the excitement you have playing with it. 

I was sat mid way up far right but could see 95% of the stage and the actors within, sometimes at theatres seating far right or left mean you are out of the action but in this case, I felt part of the action. The staging/scenery was breathtaking and conveyed the story brilliantly. What really worked well was the atmosphere the scenery helped to create. The scene changes were really interwoven well throughout the production.

I had not expected music or songs to be featured but they were and the harmonious voices were a joy to listen to. Mr and Mrs Beaver’s voices were perfectly matched ( Ruby Ablett and Samuel Morgan-Grahame) 

1st and 2nd half were matched in terms of energy and gusto, the pace also was entertaining. I would have liked Mrs Macready to have had a bigger part in the production as her character was endearing and could have provided more humorous moments. 

I usually talk about the magic 10 minutes of a production but the cast hit the ground running, with no sight of 1st night nerves. 

Moving onto the individual actors, I always give a shout out to those whose performances I enjoyed the most. Mr and Mrs Beaver ( Ruby Ablett and Samuel Morgan-Grahame) were my favourite, the delivery of lines was amazing and their chemistry worked really well together. 

The Pevensie children were good and I especially liked Kudsai Mangombe’s portrayal of Lucy, a believable character. 

Hats off to Cath Whitefield who played the White Witch, totally loved her performance, extolling menace and wickedness very well. 

In addition I liked Jez Unwin’s portrayal of Mr Tumnus, showing his character’s dilemmas and courage sufficiently. 

In terms of recommendations, I felt Maugrim’s letter read out in Mr Tumnus’s home was too distorted- not the actors fault but the sound effect, it made it too hard to work out what was being said. I felt the portrayal of Edmund Pevensie could have been stronger, I got the sense of the character’s arrogance but more emphasis on his vulnerability could be made. 

The Birmingham Rep also did audio descriptions of the play which is a great addition. 

All in all, this was an excellent production, it transported me on a journey into Narnia,  a journey believable and was met with wondrous things and amazing characters. Children and adults will be fascinated with this production. There are lots of surprises within the show so I won’t put spoilers in here. Well done to all the cast and crew for this production, clearly they work as a team and support each other on stage.

To book tickets for the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe:

https://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on/the-lion-the-witch-and-the-wardrobe/

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