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November 23, 2016

The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe

This engaging story was written by C.S. Lewis who was born in Belfast in 1898. As a child he was fascinated by witches, wizards, myths and legends. No doubt his Irish nanny had some influence there but it was not until he was teaching at Cambridge University that he put pen to paper and produced one of the best loved books, followed by six further "Chronicles of Narnia".

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a beautiful tale written for C.S. Lewis's goddaughter, Lucy Banfield, was brougt to life recently by Pirton Players in a memorable production appealing to both children and adults alike.

The members of the cast and production team are too numerous to mention one by one, but Deb Bassnet and Janet Tackley deserve accolades, having directed everyone towards a truly wonderful performance.

I loved the contrast between the World of Men, just like us, ordinary, and the fairytale world of Narnia, with the conduit being the Wardrobe and the sayings of Professor Kirk (played by Michael Tackley), as he tried to explain fantasy through reason.

There were outstanding performances from David Woodward (Mr. Tumnus), Kat Foxworthy (Mrs Beaver: great make-up) and Ruth Smith (the White Witch), all well supported by a host of lovable and equally unlovable or scary characters. Aslan (Anton Jungreuthmayer) was majestic, as we would expect.

There have been arguments that this take is a religious allegory. I do not believe that this was Lewis's intention. It is a story, like any other fairytale, of good versus evil, right against wrong, with children as its focal point - remember it was written for a child, long before Lewis became interested in philosophy and religion. Our children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy (Andrew Whitaker, Sophie Carroll, Kaia Sweatman and Emily Robbins respectively) tackled their challenging roles touchingly and with obvious pleasure. Well done.

Congratulations must also go to the supporting case who performed so professionally, filling out this special story.

Last but not least, there would be no performance without the production team, a vast array of talents from prompt to bar to photographer, and not forgetting Shaun Davey's music, beautifully interpreted by the band. I really enjoyed my night in the make-believe.

Pirton Players have achieved another winning performance of a stunning take and when you need to go back to your Narnia you will find the kindness of Aslan waiting for you.

With much thanks from your audience.[Review by: Rosie Hamilton-McLeod]


Directors − Deb Bassnett & Janet Tackley
Musical Director − Lucinda Rowe
Asst Musical Director and Accompanist − Thomas Rowe
Producer − Stella Turner
Asst Producer − Clare Easterbrook

World of Men
Air Raid Warden − Paul Ribbans
Railway Porter − David Tinney
Peter − Andrew Whitaker
Susan − Sophie Carroll
Edmund − Kaia Sweatman
Lucy − Emily Robbins
Servants − Sadie Easterbrook, Rebecca Turner,
Bethany Woodhouse
Mrs Macready − Stella Turner
Sightseers − Paul Ribbans, Gena Edwards, David Tinney, Antonietta Tinney, Viv Tyler & Oscar Easterbrook
Professor Kirk − Michael Tackley

World of Narnia
Mr Tumnus − David Woodward
The Reindeer − Melanie Abrook and Liz Taylor
The Sleigh Pushers − Taylor Abrook and Jake McCreith
Grumpskin − Graham Gibbs
The White Witch − Ruth Smith (understudy Danielle Peters)
Mr Beaver − Sue Kennedy
Mrs Beaver − Kat Foxworthy
Maugrim − Paul Kerswill
Father Christmas − Michael Tackley
Mother Fox − Sophie Davies
Young Foxes − Oscar Easterbrook, Taylor Abrook & Jake McCreith
Aslan − Anton Jungreuthmayer
Wolf − Amelie Peters
Rumblebun − Trevor Clark
Lion − Sophie Davies
King Peter − Daniel Eccles
Queen Susan − Rosie Eccles
King Edmund − Joe Emler
Queen Lucy − Danielle Peters

Mel Abrook
Taylor Abrook
Sophie Davies
Gena Edwards
Oscar Easterbrook
Sadie Easterbrook
Joe Emler
Alison Gibbs
Fizz Gibbs
Jake McCreith
Amelie Peters
Danielle Peters
Paul Ribbans
Maxine Shearer
Liz Taylor
Antonietta Tinney
David Tinney
Rebecca Turner
Stella Turner
Viv Tyler

Howard Etherington
Jill Houghton
Matthew Houghton,
Annette Partridge
Lizzie Rowe
Thomas Rowe

Directors − Deb Bassnett & Janet Tackley
Musical Director − Lucinda Rowe
Asst Musical Director and Accompanist − Thomas Rowe
Producer − Stella Turner
Asst Producer − Clare Easterbrook
Stage Manager − Debbie Keating
Prompt − Loretta Concannon
Choreography − Amanda Vines
Singing Consultant − Maxine Shearer
Costumes − Val Guess, Beth Harding & Anne Peters,
Sue Richards, Antonietta Tinney
Props Sourcing and Making − Sue Kennedy
Props Management − Anton Jungreuthmayer & Paul Ribbans
Set Construction − Graham Gibbs, Dave Tinney & Trevor Clark
Set Painting − Beth Harding & Laura Kennedy,
Penny Picken, Rebecca Turner
Lighting Design − Stuart Clark & Peter Johnson
Sound − Clive Grin & Mark Sadler
Front of House Manager − Sue Richards with team
Front of House - Val Bryant, Margaret Johnson, Mark Savage, Rachel Spedding & Amanda Vines
Bar Design − Penny Picken & Susie Welch
Bar − Ed Picken and team
Box Oce − Stella Turner and Pirton Village Stores
Website − David Woodward
Poster and Programme Design − Roger Burton
Publicity − Mark Sadler
Chaperones − Emma Carroll, Clare Easterbrook, Justine McCreith, Gina Railton, Nicola Robbins & Katie Woodhouse
Make Up − Victoria Turner
Rehearsal Photography − David Tinney
Photography − Rafe Abrook


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