Narnia in Kensington Gardens

A dazzling and dramatic retelling of C.S. Lewis’ classic fantasy novel The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe opens in the historic grounds of Kensington Gardens on 8th May.

Lion Witch and the Wardrobe in Kensington Gardens by C.S.LewisAdored by all ages, this major new production will invite its audience to enter a spectacular new world with Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy as they journey through the magical land of Narnia.

In a unique collaboration the production is adapted by award-winning director Rupert Goold and the play will be staged in a threesixty theatre tent in front of the newly reopened Kensington Palace, offering an all-encompassing theatrical experience complete with special effects and enchanting puppetry.

Of course, it’s hard to mention The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe without looking at the magnificent career of its author, C.S Lewis.

From Belfast, C.S Lewis was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, theologian and Christian apologist. However, most will remember him for his mystical tales from beyond the wardrobe.

Lewis began his academic career as an undergraduate student at Oxford, where he won a triple first, the highest honours in three areas of study. He then taught as a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, for nearly thirty years, from 1925 to 1954, and later was the first Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University and a fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

C.S. Lewis The Lion Witch and the WardrobeHe was, undoubtedly, a prolific writer and his circle of literary friends became an informal discussion society known as the “Inklings”, including J. R. R. Tolkien, Nevill Coghill, Lord David Cecil, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and his brother Warren Lewis.

At Oxford he was the tutor of, among many other noted undergraduates, poet John Betjeman, critic Kenneth Tynan, mystic Bede Griffiths, and Sufi scholar Martin Lings. Curiously, the religious and conservative Betjeman detested Lewis, whereas the anti-Establishment Tynan retained a life-long admiration for him.

Today, he is regarded as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, with his work inspiring many modern works of children’s literature, such as Daniel Handler’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter.

For C.S.Lewis fans, old and new, we can’t think of a more perfect setting to compliment this wonderful retelling of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe than Kensington Gardens. The show will run from 8th May- 9th September. Visit www.lionwitchtheshow.com for more details.

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Written by Britain Magazine // 24th April 2012

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