The CS Lewis classic The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is a story that puts children centre stage.
Which is exactly what the Turn Again Theatre production of the fantasy tale is doing.
The Holmfirth company, well known for giving its junior members key roles in its annual pantomime, is now giving youngsters the chance to star in its autumn show.
First-time director Kate Piatt says she was looking for a play to showcase the talents of younger members. She explained: “I wanted to do something I was familiar with for my directing debut and I was a huge fan of the Narnia books when I was a child. I read them over and over and loved the stories.
“I also wanted the show to be all about the children in the company. They perform annually in the Turn Again pantos but otherwise they get very little opportunity to act as a group.”
Kate is well used to working with children after teaching at Upperthong Junior and Infant School for 17 years. She became deputy head at the school earlier this year. But she admits that she takes a different approach with Turn Again children: “I have to say that I’m a bit of a tyrant at school where we have so little time to put a play together. With Turn Again Theatre it’s a hobby and we don’t want to put the children off acting. They have responded well to the challenge and are really looking forward to performing to an audience.”
The show opens at Holmfirth Civic Hall on Wednesday, October 7, and closes on Saturday, October 10.
It is based on the novel, written in the 1940s by Lewis, an Oxford University professor, which features the adventures of four children – Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy – who are evacuated from London to a country house where they discover a secret portal to a magical kingdom.
A handful of Turn Again’s regular actors take on adult roles but otherwise the play is dominated by youngsters, a number of whom are new to the company.
Kate says the new influx came about several months ago after the company invited families to join the cast of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
“We had a number of enquiries,” she added, “one of those was Jamie-Lee Nursey, who is taking the key part of Susan.”
Tickets for the show are £5 and £7 from Holmfirth Information Centre on 01484 222444 or email@example.com