Rupert Goold to Adapt and Co-Direct New Stage Version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
By Mark Shenton
A new stage adaptation of CS Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe will open in a state-of-the-art theatre tent sited in London's Kensington Gardens, beginning performances May 8 for a run through Sept. 9.
Adapted by Rupert Goold, and co-directed by Goold with Michael Fentiman, it is staged by threesixty, who previously produced a version of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens in summer 2009 and subsequently internationally. It is currently playing in Boston.
In a press statement, Goold commented, "'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' left a huge impression on me as a child. Its combination of fairytale strangeness and mythic spirituality seemed fundamentally English in sensibility, and returning to it now as an adapter and in reading all the stories to my children I also find it strangely Shakespearean too. What I hope to evoke is the power of faith and the danger of tyranny in a rougher more elemental telling of the story. I'm thrilled to be working again with artists who have been at the heart of my recent work at Headlong and the RSC and can't wait to be working in the round again in the exciting possibilities the threesixty tent offers.”
In CS Lewis' story, four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, discover the magical world of Narnia when they pass through a mysterious wardrobe door. Ruled by the White Witch who has cast a spell making it forever winter, the children together with new-found friends battle to bring happiness to the land in this classic tale of good versus evil.
Goold is artistic director of Headlong Theatre and an associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His productions for Headlong include Earthquakes in London (premiered at the National Theatre), Enron (premiered at Chichester Festival Theatre, before transferring to the Royal Court, the West End and Broadway), King Lear (premiered at Liverpool then the Young Vic) and Six Characters in Search of an Author (premiered at Chichester then transferring to the West End's Gielgud Theatre). His other work as a director includes The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet (both at the RSC), Time and the Conways at the National, and Oliver! (West End revival at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane).
Michael Fentiman, who co-directs, is currently artistic director of Beggars And Kings Theatre Company.
Full creative team and casting will be announced. To book tickets, which are on sale from Jan. 6, contact the box office on 0844 871 7693, or visit www.lionwitchtheshow.com for more details.
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