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Whirlwind Youth Theatre are Stepping into Narnia

John Freeman
Whirlwind Youth Theatre is stepping through C.S. Lewis' world-famous Wardrobe into the frozen waste of Narnia. Four children escaping from the Blitz as evacuees stay in old creepy house owned by professor Kirk and governed by a fierce house keeper called Mrs Macready. They discover a large old spidery wardrobe, full of fur coats, that is a door to the fantastical world of Narnia.

This is a an exciting new staging of Adrian Mitchell's adaptation and musical version of The Lion, The Witch  and the Wardrobe, being performed at the Storey Creative Industries Centre from the 9th to 11th December (with matinee on Saturday).

It's a production complete with fantastical masks and Elizabethan costumes that make this a visual and musical feast for Christmas. Ife Ackintunde, local DJ for Diversity FM’ Gospel hour is playing Aslan and a magical Father Christmas and the rest of the cast are local children from all over Lancaster and Morecambe. The youngest playing a ‘cruel’ and a mouse, is just five and started school this September and the oldest is 15 years, playing Mrs Beaver and Maugrim.

This production was first performed and written for the Royal Shakespeare Company and is one of the most beautiful adaptations, with music through out by Ballykissangel composer Shaun Davey.

The young cast have working extremely hard in their weekly youth theatre sessions and have had extra workshops in stage fighting, with Sam Khan who choreographs films and stage fight scenes all over the country, also in Mask Making and Puppets. There are even young musicians playing instruments during scenes and skilled dancers dancing.

"This has been a truly community affair as many of the parents have helped to sew the Elizabethan outfits, teach us Elizabethan war drumming and supply military drums and re-enactment swords for us to use," says Myette Godwyn.

Whirlwind Theatre is a different type of youth theatre, which runs every Saturday at the Storey Creative Industries Centre. It is inclusive (it is set up, with trained staff, so that children from mainstream and special school backgrounds can work together), and looks at theatre as a whole with design, writing, stage management, technical, music, directing, planning, as well as performance, seen as all equally important.

The young people work in an ensemble manner and know that they are all vital team members.

• Tickets for the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe are available through The Storey Creative Industries Centre at the main desk, card payments through a link on the Whirlwind Theatre Web site, or on the door. There is a bar/ café at The Storey for refreshments during the evening.