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"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" stage tour casting announced

by Ted Ryan about a year ago in entertainment
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The show will play a six-week season in Salford

Robyn Sinclair as Susan, Ammar Duffus as Peter, Shaka Kalokoh as Edmund and Karise Yansen as Lucy © Ellie Kurttz and Bob King

As a child, I devoured the Chronicles of Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. Although the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was definitely my favourite. The films were also a favourite childhood watch, specifically the two directed by Andrew Adamson and although I knew Sally Cookson had written a stage adaptation, I never got round to seeing it. That might be about to change though.

What's On Stage recently announced the initial casting has been revealed for the stage adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ahead of its new tour, commencing later this year.

Based on C S Lewis' iconic classic children's book about a group of children that walk through a wardrobe into a magical kingdom, the original production was first seen at Leeds Playhouse in 2017 before transferring to the Bridge Theatre in London in 2019.

Appearing in the piece will be Ammar Duffus as Peter, Shaka Kalokoh as Edmund, Robyn Sinclair as Susan and Karise Yansen as Lucy.

Aslan is to be played by Chris Jared, Mr Tumnus by Jez Unwin, Mr Beaver by Sam Buttery and Maugrim by Michael Ahomka-Lindsay.

They are joined by Oliver Bingham (Mr Brinkworth, March Hare and Aslan puppeteer), Kate Parr (Miss Gumley-Warmley and Phoenix), Grace Wylde (Mrs Pevensie, Robin and Falcon), Johnson Willis (Mr Willis, Professor Kirk, Father Christmas, Wise Owl and Whie Mouse), Rachel Dawson (Miss Chutney, Badger and Spirit of the Moon), Oliver Grant (Mr Wilson, Schrodinger, Red Squirrel and Aslan puppeteer), Matthew James Hinchliffe (Mr Marsden, Mauve Mole and Professor), Sophie Naglik (on stage swing), Anthony Starr (on stage swing), Tash Holway (on stage swing) and Brad Veitch (on stage swing). Further cast (including the individual playing the Wicked Witch) are yet to be announced.

You can watch the show's new trailer here:

Michael Fentiman (Amélie) will direct the show (based on Sally Cookson's original production with original set and costume design by Rae Smith) with the creative team also featuring set and costume designer Tom Paris, composer Benji Bower with additional composition by music supervisor Barnaby Race, choreographer Shannelle 'Tali' Fergus, lighting designer Jack Knowles, sound designers Ian Dickinson and Gareth Tucker for Autograph, puppetry director Toby Olié, puppetry designer Max Humphries, aerial director Gwen Hales, illusionist Chris Fisher, music director Toby Higgins , fight director Jonathan Holby, costume supervisor Joanna Coe, wigs and make-up supervisor Susanna Peretz, props supervisor Lizzie Frankl, dramaturg Adam Peck and movement consultant Dan Canham. Casting is by Will Burton.

The show will begin its tour at Curve in Leicester on 2 November 2021, before travelling to Aylesbury, Southampton, Sunderland, Salford (where the show plays a six-week winter season), Cardiff, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Canterbury, Plymouth, Glasgow, Birmingham, Dublin, Woking and finally completing the tour in Norwich on 9 April 2022.

Producer Chris Harper said:

"C S Lewis wrote 'they open a door and enter a world" and this is what every child imagines and dreams about. This is exactly why we're thrilled to be able to bring this incredible new version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on a tour of the UK in time for Christmas 2021. Following a record breaking success at the Leeds Playhouse and the Bridge Theatre in London, the Pevensie children will travel from Narnia to venues across the UK and Ireland."

Tickets are available now, with select dates are on sale here.

With theatres reopening slowly, I am hoping to get the chance to see and review this production later this year. Based on these details and casting announcements, I am excited to see this fresh reimaging of a classic piece of literature.


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Ted Ryan


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