Two for Tuesday – Childhood Favourites

I have been so lucky to have recently seen two of my childhood favourites on stage, and I felt it was time to share how much I enjoyed both of these shows (especially as my theatre posts have been slightly neglected recently).

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – The Gillian Lynne Theatre, London

In October, I was lucky enough to go to London to see the latest stage adaptation of ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’. And, I have to be honest, I was so flipping excited. The Narnia stories have been some of my favourites since I was young. I still remember when I first unwrapped the seven books for my birthday one year, and I have treasured them ever since. So, a chance to see another way that they had been adapted was just such a treat.

This production is absolutely stunning – fans will not be disappointed at all. The characterisation is fantastic, the White Witch is as spooky as you would hope, Aslan is as brave as you would expect, and the Pevensie children become the heroes of Narnia you have always hoped for (even if Edmund does not have the most positive start, as we all know).

The staging is also incredibly clever, a minimal set that transports you directly to Narnia. As well as the fantastic costume design that brings all the residents of Narnia to life – good or bad. I was just as nervous of Maugrim in this production as I am in any other, and the book.

So, I feel it is safe to say that the current West End production is a must see for all Narnia fans, young or old, as you will feel like you have really stepped through that wardrobe and been on the adventure that you have always imagined.

Strictly Ballroom – Birmingham Hippodrome

In, contrast, another favourite of mine, which I remember my Mum introducing me to, was Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Strictly Ballroom’. A film that I adored and would watch over and over again, especially if I needed a little bit of comfort viewing. So, as soon as I found out that Craig Revell-Horwood had developed a production of ‘Strictly Ballroom: The Musical’, I knew I had to see it – which of course I did.

And what an amazing celebration of the film it is. It has everything that you would expect: the music and songs from the film (plus some shiny new songs), the dramatic costumes and the fantastic characters. By the end, we were dancing in the aisles to ‘Love is in the Air’ – so, as you can imagine, it is amazing fun.

Maisie Smith is an absolutely wonderful Fran – with all her determination and slight awkwardness that makes her such a brilliant character. Kevin Clifton is quite the Scott Hastings – the rule-breaker extraordinaire, with (let’s be honest) all the moves, as you would expect.

Together they are a fantastic pairing – but they are also supported by an extraordinary ensemble who bring everything you love about the film to the stage – especially the fantastic subtle humour that makes the story such a joy.

If you are a musical fan, a fan of ‘Strictly Ballroom’, or just a general theatre fan, then I would really recommend catching this production if you can, because you will come out singing and dancing, and feeling like there is at least some joy in the world.

In fact, that is exactly what both these stage productions did for me as they transported back to so many happy childhood memories – as well as being a chance to make even more fantastic memories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.