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Goold Creates Narnia in Kensington Gardens this Summer

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Rupert Goold and Michael Fentiman will direct a “dazzling and dramatic” new production of CS Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in Kensington Gardens this summer, produced by threesixty, the company behind 2009’s Peter Pan.

The production, which begins previews on 8 May 2012, will be staged in the same multimedia theatre tent as Peter Pan, and will utilise “ground-breaking surround video and enchanting puppetry” to bring to life the world of Narnia.

Goold, who is also adapting the story, said: “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe left a huge impression on me as a child. Its combination of fairytale strangeness and mythic spirituality seemed fundamentally English in sensibility, and returning to it now as an adapter and in reading all the stories to my children I also find it strangely Shakespearean too.

“What I hope to evoke is the power of faith and the danger of tyranny in a rougher more elemental telling of the story. I'm thrilled to be working again with artists who have been at the heart of my recent work at Headlong and the RSC and can't wait to be working in the round again in the exciting possibilities the threesixty tent offers.”

Lewis’ much-loved book centres on four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, who discover the magical world of Narnia when they pass through a mysterious wardrobe door. Ruled by the White Witch who has cast a spell making it forever winter, the children together with new found friends battle to bring happiness to the land in a classic tale of good versus evil.

Goold’s recent directing credits include Earthquakes in London, ENRON (2009 Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Director), King Lear and Six Characters in Search of an Author.

His co-director Michael Fentiman is currently artistic director of Beggars and Kings theatre company.  His forthcoming productions include Titus Andronicus (RSC/Headlong) and The Light in the Piazza.  

Following its 16-week run in Kensington Gardens in the summer of 2009, threesixty's production of Peter Pan transferred to the O2 and on to an American tour, which is currently in Boston. It has, according to publicity material, acquired many "celebrity fans" along the way, including Russell Crowe, Tim Burton, Barbara Windsor, Tamsin Greig and Ben Elton.

Full creative team and casting for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is still to be announced.


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