Anyone who has read The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe is already aware of good against evil; of a netherworld full of fantastical beasts – and of Old Magic, writes Lizzie Paul.
Magic is certainly the word at The Bridge with this production: it is breathtaking and I seriously recommend you put this paper down and go straight out now and buy your tickets. Go on, I mean it.
Forget Pantomime, that’s old school. This is something else. Here is Narnia, where its mythical beings swing through the air on trapeze or pop up out of the floor. Where Santa Claus shimmies in and does a clog dance to a folk tune. Mr Tumnus is here; an old friend in his scarf complete with umbrella beneath the snowy lamppost. There is the evil, ice-sparkling witch, rising terrifyingly through the air, screaming and incanting unintelligible sorcery – and her very disturbing familiars who slay Aslan, the beautiful and noble lion, before his joyous rebirth.
There is song, dance, ballet, puppetry. There are sequins. And colours, so many colours. There is silken snow, drifting quietly above your head. There is lightning in flashing hues; birds singing; flowers blooming. The music is supplied both by specially-composed recording and a live quartet who live beneath a mountain. There is laughter – and tears, mark my words.
Every single person involved in this spectacular production deserves a gold, nay platinum, medal. It is truly fantastic. The puppetry is top notch and so, so believable. Schrödinger the cat is mesmerising and has a deeper, more significant meaning than you think.
I took along my friend Jane Deakin, the celebrated Rotherhithe artist, who gave me this quote by Kahlil Gibran, which really does sum it all up: “Let me oh let me bathe my soul in colours, let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow”. Quite.
It is the best thing I’ve seen in years.
Are you still here? Go get your ticket. Now!
Please note there will be strobe lighting used in this production.
Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Fields Park, London, SE1 2SG until 2nd February 2020. Times: 7.30; matinees vary – See website. Admission: £15 – £95.