Christmas magic is stirring at West Yorkshire Playhouse with two enchanting new productions announced for Christmas 2017 – a major new adaptation in the Quarry Theatre of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe with one of British theatre’s leading directors, Olivier award nominee Sally Cookson, and a brand new show for younger children – Crumble’s Search for Christmas, by Robert Alan Evans, creator of the Playhouse’s Christmas 2015 smash hit The Night Before Christmas and the sold-out success, Kes.
With the Quarry transformed for the very first time into an epic theatre in the round, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is a co-production between West Yorkshire Playhouse Elliott Harper Productions and Catherine Schreiber. Elliott Harper Productions is a nationally significant new theatre company led by Tony and Olivier Award winning director Marianne Elliott, an established director at the National Theatre whose credits include War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and producer, Chris Harper.
This production, directed by the acclaimed Sally Cookson whose own hugely successful productions include Peter Pan (National Theatre, 2016), Hetty Feather, and Jane Eyre and La Strada which are both currently on tour, will be Elliott Harper’s first ever production outside London, with design by the renowned Rae Smith, who previously worked with Marianne Elliott on War Horse.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, based on the cherished novel by CS Lewis, is the spellbinding tale of four war time evacuees who discover the enchanted kingdom of Narnia, which can only be reached through a mystical wardrobe.
The Playhouse also presents a newly commissioned piece, Crumble’s Search for Christmas, by the creator of The Night Before Christmas, Robert Alan Evans.
This brand new production in the Courtyard Theatre stars the irresistible Crumble, a feathery, furry creature who – instead of hibernating at Christmas time – braves the great freeze to embark on an incredible wintry adventure, making unforgettable new friends along the way. This magical story of secret burrows and blustering blizzards is perfect for 2-6 year olds, and their grownups.
James Brining, Artistic Director of West Yorkshire Playhouse, said:
“We’re delighted to welcome Sally Cookson, who continually finds wonderful new ways to tell classic stories, and the highly imaginative and talented Robert Alan Evans, whose last Christmas Playhouse production absolutely enchanted our audiences.
We are proud to draw the UK’s most significant, leading theatre makers to collaborate with us, across both classic titles and specially devised new work, to create exceptional theatre throughout the year.
Following last Christmas’s triumphant productions of Strictly Ballroom The Musical, The Witches, and Rudolf, and presenting our very first Quarry Theatre production in the round, this promises to be our most magical festive programme yet.”
Creatives now confirmed for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe also include Ian Dickinson as Sound Designer, Adam Peck as Writer in the Room, Dan Canham as Movement Director and Bruno Poet as Lighting Designer, with music by Benji Bower and Jill Green as Casting Director.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Quarry Theatre
29 November – 21 January
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Crumble’s Search for Christmas, Courtyard Theatre
25 November – 30 December
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