By CS Lewis
Dramatised by Adrian Mitchell
Music by Shaun Davey
St Stephen's, London
17 March – 19 April 2009
As the Blitz rages in London, four young children are evacuated to a mysterious country house. There they discover an enchanted wardrobe that leads them into an adventure more exciting than they could ever have imagined.
Stepping through the wardrobe door, they are transported into the frozen world of Narnia. Can the children help the great lion Aslan defeat the evil White Witch and break the spell that has held the land locked in Winter for a hundred years?
After 30 years of winter, celebrate the re-opening of St. Stephen's, Hampstead, with Antic Disposition's magical new production of this much-loved family adventure.
★ ★ ★ ★
"Adrian Mitchell's adaptation, originally written for the RSC, really is a thing of beauty. He captures precisely what it is about the book that makes it so loveable.
"This production … is utterly charming and completely effective."
"The first show since the renovation of St Stephen's has been completed, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe showcases the grand and atmospheric venue to perfection. The production itself is incredibly slick.
"Jayne Dickinson as Lucy is especially impressive … She portrays Lucy's effervescent character and warm-heartedness enthusiastically.
"Ross Hugill's Mr Tumnus looks and sounds exactly as one would imagine. His endearingly hesitant interaction with Lucy … is a joy to witness.
"At the centre of the innovative costumes and scenery is the enormous wardrobe - almost a character in itself, which is the highlight of a stunning set. Using the rest of the church as an extension of the stage in the second half is an inspired move and one that will no doubt be utilised again in this magnificent setting."
Mark Shenton, Shenton's View:
"I saw the wonderful possibilities for restoring a magnificent church to the heart of its community on Friday, when I went to the opening night of a new production of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at St Stephen's Church on Rosslyn Hill in Hampstead.
"The sweetly touching and sincere staging of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with which Antic Disposition have launched their season is a good omen for things to come."
London Theatre Blog:
"Charismatic lion-king Obioma Ugoala benefits from a marvellous long entrance, as the back-wall of the stage opens to reveal the apse beyond, bathed in golden light.
"One small person near me responded to the revelation of Aslan's return with a loud gasp of awe, as the primitive magic of a communal desire to believe started to catch hold of the audience.
"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe bodes well for a productive conjunction of company and venue. As spring banishes winter, and virtue emerges triumphant, a warmly hymnal finale seemed a fitting conclusion to an evening of promising new beginnings."
Camden New Journal:
"Thanks to the impressive space provided by the newly renovated St Stephen's, Hampstead, this production is spellbinding from the outset.
"This original production has some truly magnificent points of interest. A faultless set, meticulous costume and polished performances from an experienced cast did full justice to CS Lewis's wartime children's fantasy.
"Alice Fernbank gives a wonderfully mean performance as the White Witch.
"The Victorian Gothic architecture will be at its best when the Bard visits in June, and Antic Disposition's residency deserves to attract many more worshipers back to this church."
Chris David Storer