Creation Theatre Company
01865 766266 or at
3rd Floor, Cherwell House, 1-5 London Place, Oxford, OX4 1BD.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 6th December 2013 to 4th January
It’s been winter in Narnia for ever so long. Always winter and never Christmas, can you imagine? What if there was another world inside an old wardrobe? A world under the rule of a cruel queen, where everyone lived in fear and it never stopped snowing. This Christmas you can join the Pevensie children on the greatest adventure of their lives. We’ll return to The North Wall for our third magical and imaginative family Christmas show in the year that will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of one of Oxford’s most famous sons, CS Lewis. With live music, comedy and plenty of 1940s charm, Mr Tumnus and Mr & Mrs Beaver can’t wait to meet you there.
North Wall Arts Centre (www.thenorthwall.org), South Parade, Oxford, OX2 7NN.
For more details
see Creation's web site at www.creationtheatre.co.uk.
Reviews of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
6th December 2013 to 4th January 2014.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Northern winter delight
CS Lewis classic marks 50th anniversary of his death
Creation Theatre: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, at the North Wall arts centre, Oxford, until January 4
This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the death of CS Lewis, author of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It is therefore fitting that Creation Theatre Company gained the rights to the novel, in a version adapted and scored by Steven Luke Walker, because Oxford was the primary home of Lewis. It's a vibrant musical with terrific numbers that propel the narrative forward effectively. The tunes are hummable, with genres ranging from pop to boogie woogie and marches.
Director Charlotte Conquest uses the intimate space at the North Wall with real flair. She co-opts the balcony as an acting arena, and when the White Witch (Gemma Morsley) emerges high above the stage wearing huge white drapes, she is seemingly pulled on a sleigh by reindeer at ground level (design, Neil Irish).
The story begins with the four Pevensie children experiencing an air raid during the Second World War. This is an exciting scene, with pinpoint choreographic movement from the cast. Leaving their mother behind in London, they arrive at the country residence of a quixotic professor (Michael Diana) and his sinister housekeeper, Mrs Macready (Morsley, again).
It is the youngest girl, Lucy (Anna McGarahan) who discovers the land of Narnia when she explores the wardrobe. The street light that marks the boundary between Narnia and the children's world casts a yellow glow over a snowy landscape. It is just right. Lucy encounters a kindly but duplicitous faun, Mr Tumnus (Nathan Lubbock Smith) who takes her back to his Hobbit-like home for tea.
Soon afterwards, her brother Edmund (Andy Owens) follows her into Narnia. He is captured by the White Witch and bribed with Turkish delight, a delicacy which must have been hard to obtain during the war.
When Peter (Raymond Walsh) and Susan (Ellie Kirk) join their siblings in Narnia, the story becomes one of prophesy fulfilment, sword and sorcery battles and good versus evil.
There is an inventive use of puppets (Polly Beestone) and masks, with a faun particularly impressive, although the lion Aslan's mane is a little abstract and underwhelming. Excellent performances from all, and another success for Creation.
There are reviews from The Stage ("looking for an alternative to traditional pantomime, then this take on a children’s classic is recommended"), Reviews Gate ("enduring story, but why the music?") and Daily Info ("I am sure [Creation] are very proud of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and rightly so. I recommend it heartily to all of you").
Henry V, 17th August to 14th September 2013. See the review in the archive.
Jekyll & Hyde, 8th June to 6th July 2013. See the review in the archive.
Aladdin and the Magical Lamp, 6th December 2012 to 5th January 2013. See the review in the archive.
The Merchant of Venice, 7th July to 1st September 2012
Richard II, 7th May 2012
The Odyssey, 29th March to 28th April 2012
Hamlet, 5th to 24th March 2012
A Christmas Carol, 8th December 2011 to 7th January 2012. There are reviews in the Oxford Times ("backing up all this ensemble acting is some very strong staging... fine show") and Daily Info ("a flawless performance... one of the most enjoyable shows of this year; don’t miss out on a night full of merriment and Christmas cheer! ").
Antony and Cleopatra, 8th July to 3rd September 2011. See the review in the archive.
King James Bible, 14th May to 11th June 2011 at St Barnabas Church
Dr Faustus, 4th February to 2nd April 2011 at Blackwell's Bookshop
Rapunzel, 26th November 2010 to 15th January 2011. See the review in the archive.
Romeo and Juliet, 19th July to 31st August 2010, at Said Business School Amphitheatre, Oxford
Beauty and the Beast, 27th November 2009 to 16th January 2010. See the review in the archive.
Twelfth Night (July 2009)
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 4th July to 13th September 2008
Othello (April 2009)
Hans Christian Andersen's Magical Tales (December 2008)
Animal Farm, 21st July to 30th August 2008
The Taming of the Shrew, 16th July to 25th August 2007
Hamlet, 1st June to 28th July 2007
Macbeth, 2nd June to 9th September 2006 at Headington Hill Park
Saints and Sinners (June 2008)
Much Ado About Nothing (June 2008)
Measure for Measure (March 2008)
Tales from the Brothers Grimm (November 2007)
The Oxford Passion (August 2007)
Arabian Nights (November 2006)
Robin Hood (July 2006)
The Merchant of Venice (June 2006)
King Lear (February 2006)
The Snow Queen (November 2005)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (July 2005)
The Comedy of Errors (January 2005)
A Christmas Carol (November 2004)
Romeo and Juliet (July 2004)
Much Ado About Nothing (June 2004)
The Winter's Tale (February 2004)
The Tempest (July 2003)
Twelfth Night (June 2003)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (June 2002)
Romeo and Juliet, and As You Like It (July 2001)