The long awaited launch of the Harry Potter movie took place in London on Nov. 7, but for fans of an older magic than J. K. Rowlings' there is, just over a month later on Dec. 6, the beginning of a winter run of C. S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Sadler's Wells.
This RSC production, which runs from to Jan. 26, 2002, with a press night on Dec. 14, is adapted for the stage by Adrian Mitchell, directed by Adrian Noble, and has proved a big hit with children since it was first performed three years ago, on the 100th anniversary of Lewis' birth.
Lewis' original book, the first of a series about a magical land called Narnia - reached through the back of a wardrobe in an old house - has lent itself ideally to the stage, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is now a regular winter crowd-puller for the RSC.
The travel industry may be in trouble at the moment but, given that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe broke box office records when it arrived at the newly refurbished Sadler's Wells last year, it looks likely that 2001 will be another good year for escapist trips to Narnia.
Sadlers Wells Box Office: 020 7863 8000.
—by Paul Webb Theatrenow