Enchanting Christmas story brought to life by talented young cast at Burnley Youth Theatre
A cast of 30 talented performers gave their all in a special preview of the Christmas show that will be performed to audiences from tonight (Friday) to Sunday.
With the age old theme of good overcoming evil, the show held the audience in the palm of its hand from start to finish as the cast, some as young as 10, gave a riveting performance.
It was evident to see the hard work that has gone into creating this show, from the fantastic costumes and set to the atmospheric music and lighting.
And the show has special significance for director Ollie Daley as he appeared in a production of The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe at the youth theatre 12 years ago when he was 13. Ollie has worked professionally at Burnley Youth Theatre for several years but he admits that directing this festive production has been a personal highlight for him.
Connor Harrison as Peter, Anna Vasey as Susan, Eli Orrell as Edmund and Esmae Dixon as Lucy, gave superb and convincing performances as the brothers and sisters who discover the wardrobe that takes them to the magical world of Narnia. They each made the characters their own and brought them to life with some wonderful acting.
Esmae was in practically every scene, which meant she had to carry a lot of the play on her young shoulders, but she did it with complete ease and has a natural born talent for being on stage.
Karima Shah played the evil White Witch with great aplomb and she was genuinely scary! She resisted the urge to go 'over the top' with the character which would have strayed into panto territory.
And what a great stage presence Chris Baines had as the hero, the great lion Aslan. The scene where he is attacked by the White Witch and her army was spectacularly dramatic and quite emotional. Chris played the role with the right combination of pathos and humour that made the audience believe in him.
Zaina Outhwaite as the bossy housekeeper Mrs Macready and Joseph Butterworth as Mr Beaver also made a real impact with the audience.
The team of Magical Beings, played by Isla Lay, Hermione Fletcher, Annie Johnson, Sofia Mann Isabel Salha and Ruby Hartley, performed impeccably together and were a constant thread throughout the play.
Everyone involved with this production deserves a real pat on the back on the back for the hard work, effort and flair that as gone into making this a fabulous, festive show.
The rest of the cast included: Felix Marshall (the professor) Alistair Marsden (Mr Tumnus) Tessa Worden/Annie Pease (Mrs Beaver) Niamh Biggs (Maugrim) Chloe Conway (Grumpskin) Seth Rothwell (Father Christmas/Rumblebuffin) Connie Hartley, Ani Ratcliffe, Jasmine Robinson, Fern Fleming (Aslan's army) Tippi Francis, Eli Pitcher, Khia Doe, Issac Brierley and Aine Salha (white witch army)
The last few tickets are available at www.burnleyyouththeatre.org.