Rhiannon and Nia Alys Callaghan
From a mum’s point of view it is often the little things that make the difference between a successful evening and a disaster when children are involved. The fact that the show started at seven and finished before nine meant that no-one was too tired and short attention spans weren’t stretched too far.
The show was both literally and metaphorically dark. The bleak sets and costumes meant that the occasional pops of colour – Father Christmas’ red robes and the White Witch’s white and silver outfit – really leapt out and five-year-old Megan in particular really responded to this.
I loved the fact that the music was such an integral part of the show. The actors played their instruments on stage and moved around playing with huge dynamism and this was brilliant for the children to see – much more interesting than a separate orchestra divided from the main action.
Seven year old Rhydian said that his favourite thing about the show was that the same people acted and played the instruments. The score certainly contributed to the atmosphere although being only five rows back from the stage the music was overwhelmingly loud at times and Megan had her hands clamped over her ears at certain points.
The set was fairly simple and the characters at times described unseen aspects of the scenes which was a great way of getting the children to use their imaginations. Ten year old Nia said that she was impressed by the way a few simple props (the eponymous wardrobe, a couple of staircases and a revolving section of stage) could be used to represent a number of different settings along with the changing backdrop.
All in all this was a very successful evening. The show is recommended for those of seven plus and I think that is about right – it could be a bit frightening for those any younger. However, the complimentary mince pies and Turkish delight (and mulled wine for me!) in the interval were very popular and handing out balloons at the end meant that everyone went home happy!
I was lucky enough to go and see the show “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff with my brother Rhydian, who is seven, and my sister Megan, who is five. I had read the book in school and was wondering how they could turn a long book into a short show but I think they did it really well.
The scenery was simple and was made up of two stair cases, a wardrobe and a revolving floor but they managed to turn these into a train station (at the start), a country house and the magic forest which I thought was very clever.
Most of the actors’ clothes were in dark colours. This made the White Witch’s blue, white and silver outfit really stand out! The children were all wearing grey school uniforms but the Lion was in brown clothes with a bright orange mane.
My favourite character was Susan, Megan’s was Lucy and Rhydian’s was Peter. The actors were really good at pretending to be children – in fact Megan thought that they were actual children!
One of the things that I thought was really good was that all of the actors played musical instruments on stage and the music really added to the show.
Nia Alys Callaghan:
Director Rachel O’Riordan
Adaptation by Theresa Heskins
Composer Conor Mitchell
Lighting Designer Kevin Treacy
Video & Projection Designer – Dick Straker
Musical Director Gareth Wyn Griffiths
Sound Designer Sophie Smith
Fight Director Kevin McCurdy
Photography: Mark Douet
Until December 31
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