The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

AN audience is to be led into a fantasy forest and a magical world of mythical creatures as students prepare to stage a seasonal spectacular.

Actors at The King’s Academy, in Coulby Newham, are bringing the much-loved book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to life.

The story by CS Lewis, which was first published in 1950, sees four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, evacuated to the countryside from London during the Blitz.

In the house where they are staying, they find a magic wardrobe that is a portal to the land of Narnia, inhabited by a faun called Tumnus, a White Witch and Aslan the lion.

It is the first time in five years that the academy’s main production has been a play rather than a musical and the drama has required the students to take on challenges including stage combat.

Ryan Clarke, 16, who plays Peter, said:

It’s so different to anything we’ve done before. This is also the biggest role I’ve had and it’s a smaller main cast so there are more lines to learn, but I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Alicia Glasgow, 15, who is the White Witch, added:

The fact that it’s a play means you can come at it from a different perspective and use more techniques as an actor to express the character, rather than relying on songs.”

The other students in principal roles are Daniel Yellow, 14, as Edmund, Amy Percival, 14, as Susan, Rachel Geddes, 13, as Lucy, and Rhys Lewis, 16, who plays Aslan.

A team of staff and students have been working behind the scenes including assistant vice principal Carey Brownless, who has produced costumes for the principal characters as well as the Queen’s and Aslan’s armies and 20 creatures including a centaur, unicorn, beaver, wolves, squirrels and rabbits.

Head of Art Kevin Morris and teacher Claire Johnston created the set, which was designed by sixth former student Coleena Collins.

Head of Drama and show director Eddie Jones said:

As always, it’s been a huge team effort and everyone has pulled together to make it happen.

“It’s been great to set the students a different challenge of still engaging an audience without being able to rely on songs and dance. There’s been a lot more dialogue and new techniques to learn and the passion of the students for their work has really shone through.”

The show runs from November 21-23 at 7pm except for the Wednesday performance, which starts at 6pm. The Thursday show will be a signed performance to assist audience members who have a hearing impairment.

Tickets cost £3.50 for adults, £2.50 for concessions and a family ticket of up to two adults and three children for £10, available from the academy reception.