The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is an epic fantasy deserving of reinvention, and this Mayweek show is not just endowed with the imaginative scale of a promenade performance. After entering the wardrobe with four children of the Blitz – Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter – the audience is confronted with the same living allegory, the same experience of a sky hung with inflated storm-clouds and a reel of bemasked mythical figures which dance them on to a conclusion of death and glory in the newly-thawed Spring.
Good and evil fight pitched battles in this, C.S. Lewis’s most known story, and stylisation becomes the vehicle to an absolute evocation of the brooding and magical world of Narnia; commedia dell’arte jostles an almost grotesque physicality, in an arena defined by concealed sound and overt landscape. This is the billowing tapestry of Narnia where children reign amongst witches and giants, lions and centaurs, hags and fauns, and through all, the sense of a skein drawn across, and shattered by stepping over the threshold.