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Posted: Wednesday 19 August, 2015
From Monday 10th to Friday 14th August, Next Stage Theatre Company, along with talented members of Next Stage Youth, performed The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the famous Minack Theatre on the cliffs in Cornwall.
The 22-strong cast originally performed The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at The Mission Theatre Bath in July 2015 to critical acclaim. This is the 9th show Next Stage Theatre Company have taken to The Minack Theatre, and previous joint NS and NSYouth productions include The Royal Hunt of the Sun (2001), His Dark Materials (2007) and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (2011).
The week at The Minack was a huge success, playing to sold-out audiences all excited to see Glyn Robbins’s adaptation of C.S Lewis’s classic tale of good V evil.
After a beautifully sunny first morning on Saturday 8th, the cast (of whom most had never performed at The Minack before) spent the weekend rehearsing in the beautiful theatre on the edge of the cliffs in Porthcurno.
Monday 10th was the opening night, and as the enchanting original music filled the theatre, the cast excitedly took their places ready to perform. The reviewer, Jenni Barlow said of Next Stage’s first night show: “Those lucky enough to have the hottest ticket in West Penwith have been treated to all the fantastical tricks the Land of Narnia can throw at them, in a production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by this Bath based company.” (To read the review in full see here )
It wasn’t only the reviewer who was impressed; audience member reactions were positive throughout the week, with many specifically seeking out Ann Ellison, the director, to praise her on a fantastic show. One such audience member said: “We just wanted to say how much we enjoyed yesterday’s performance of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Well done and thank you to all.”
Despite sunny skies and calm seas for the majority of the week, Thursday brought to The Minack the strong wind and rain that was sweeping the rest of the South West. The matinee continued through the very wet weather and a brave (and well wrapped-up!) audience sat through the entire show. One audience member said of the matinee: “We came to watch a matinee performance on August 13th in the prouring rain, the rain was relentless and we were all completely soaked through...however the show went on and I have to say how amazing the whole cast were. They carried on regardless and even when they had to lay on the horrid cold wet floor these actors did not even hesitate. We brought our 2 children along to watch, aged 11 and 7 and I must say we were worried how they would feel about the show considering how uncomfortable and cold they became but they absolutely loved it and were so pleased that they got to watch it. I hope you can pass on this massive well done and thank you to everyone involved. Now my 11 year old daughter has being involved in her own performance at the Minack theatre on her bucket list."
The week ended on a high with a fantastic final performance played to an extremely appreciative audience. Every single member of the cast and crew was devastated to leave the magical venue in which they had performed an equally magical show. The withdrawal symptoms are still ongoing and it is lovely to know that, despite bad weather, long rehearsal days and tiring performances, they would all do it again in a heartbeat!
The images below are courtesy of The Minack Theatre.