adapted for the stage by Glyn Robbins
Review in the Farnham Herald:
Young cast takes audience to magic place
It's snowing in Tilford! This is what the audience found as they arrived at the entrance of the Tilford Institute and were instantly transported into Narnia!
There followed an enchanting production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from the cast and crew of the Tilbourne Players. Ably and imaginatively directed by David Brace, the play was a faithful rendition of CS Lewis's classic tale of the triumph of good over evil.
Four children take us, via a wardrobe, into the enchanted snow-covered land of Narnia. There strange and intriguing creatures explain how the wicked White Witch holds the land in the grip of perpetual winter, instilling fear among the inhabitants. It seems that the children might just be those destined to free the land from this wretched enchantment. First, however, they must deal with the evil within as one of their number succumbs to the bittersweet allure of power, corruption and Turkish Delight.
The play was a showcase of talent. Most of the cast were under 18 and it was a joy to see young people and adults working together so harmoniously. The four children were all strong performers. Ethan Tebbutt as Peter showed just the right amound of older-brother gravitas; Rosie Roebuck as Susan gave a steady, convincing, solid performance; Sam Hall as Edmund used movement and facial expressions extremely well to display his own personal battle between good and evil, and Samantha Rawlings brought just the right amount of excitement and breathless wonder to her portrayal of Lucy.
Stephanie Harrison (Mr Tumnus) gave a delightfully animated performance; Hilary Lee-Corbin and Helen Phillips were convincing Beavers (no mean achievement!) and Anastasia Alexandru's lupine movements and howls as Maugrim were particularly fine. Marion Homer (the White Witch) continues to amaze audiences with her mastery of the dramatic art, this time extending to sword-fighting to boot, all the time resplendent in gorgeous white and silver attire. And who better to portray Aslan the lion than James Woodley with his usual versatility, deep voice and command of emotion. His roar was expecially impressive - as was his make-up, courtesy of Ruth Ahmed.
Very often the smaller parts can make or break a performance but here, Joe Stickler as the dwarf, Sophie and Aimee Skinner as the leopards, Hazel Dixson as a wolf and good old Chris Angwin as Father Christmas had all clearly given thought to their roles.
Rob and James Durrant yet again pulled off a master-coup in their staging of the piece with particularly innovative weather and explosive effects and were well supported in the props, sound and light departments by Frances Kirby, Malcolm Corbin and Robert Barnard. Costumes (thanks to Judy Barrett-Hamilton and Penny Treeby) were pleasingly authentic.
This is one of those plays which can be enjoyed on so many levels from a magical children's adventure to a profound metaphor for redemption. No surprise then that this captivating production attracted record audiences. Huge congratulations to David Brace and team.