The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Station Theatre

Nadia Albina and John Kelly in Reasons To Be Cheerful.  Picture by  Patrick Baldwin

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C S Lewis’ 1950 story for children is truly iconic; there can’t be many people to whom ‘Narnia’ doesn’t conjure up snow, battles, castles and the eponymous trio.

Hayling Island Young Actors are performing Glyn Robbins’ adaptation at the Station Theatre this week. It plays merry-hell with Lewis’ original time-line with a very odd juxtaposition of scenes at the beginning. However, once our heroes have all passed through the wardrobe door, things pick up.

Harry Cassidy, Libby Dunaway, Ronin Gillespie-Griffiths and Molly Kean were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy on opening night (the girls are double-cast) and do what is expected of them nicely – although some quicker pick-ups on cues would make the thing tighter. The real acting power, here, comes from Madeleine Spice as the White Witch and a very impressive Scott Hawley as Aslan. I don’t know how old Hawley is, but his voice already rings. Spice allows her Witch thinking-time, not racing at the lines, and gives a very mature performance as a result.

The technical side of the show is good – particularly the evocation of the Second World War at the start – and the obvious, but nicely-done, realisation of Giant Rumblebuffin is a joy.

Until Saturday.