Bristol Hippodrome – until 7th May 2022
Reviewed by Lucy Hitchcock
A piano adorns the stage and is quickly played by a soldier to quiet the audience, and we are transported into the play, with a lovely immersive start to the show. Michael Fentiman directs this cast through the world of Narnia, along with Shannelle Fergus’s choreography and composer Benji Bower.
The show was eagerly anticipated by the crowd, but ultimately fell flat. It seemed to be very rushed and we didn’t have time to connect with the characters before a new twist in the story. This is not to detract from the brilliant music and dance that entwined with the show, in fact, this was what I looked forward to most! The constant music and singing from the cast was superb and was beautifully accompanied by Christina Tedders on violin, whilst also portraying Mrs Beaver. To me, Tedders was the stand out of this piece with an excellent stage presence and stunning vocals and musicality-she really made the piece special.
There were some good illusions and flying sequences, but they seemed very few and far between and seemed not to add much to the progression of the story. As a lover of the original books, this did feel as though it just fell short of the original magic C S Lewis provides. There were however, many children that seemed to love the performance and it was greeted with lots of oohs and ahhs-really captivating it’s true demographic -unfortunately,that wasn’t myself.