Arts Review: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Dir. Miriam Plassmann and Anna Rattray, Qudos, 11th October

An integral part of growing up is losing your innocence. Perhaps your favourite children’s TV presenter turned out be a coke snorting fiend, or possibly you saw your old primary school teacher getting smashed in the local pub. Or maybe, perhaps most confusingly, you watched everyone’s favourite talking lion (Aslan, not Simba) knight Peter Pevensie with a condom.

As ridiculous as it sounds, this is what the audience of STAG’s production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe witnessed on 11th of October. So weird an experience the show was that it has taken me several weeks to process it. Away with the bad connotations of the word weird, in this instance it means brilliant.

Third in a three-play series interpreting The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for the yearly new talent nights, this particular production transported the tale from WWII England into 21st century Murano halls. The result is hilarious. Just as everybody has heard harrowing stories about Blitz Britain, every Glasgow student has heard equally horrifying stories about Murano. Plassmann and Rattray use their new setting perfectly to fill the play with in-jokes and Glasgow Uni references that must have left any parents in the audience scratching their heads but had all students wetting themselves with laughter.

Just like the direction, the cast were wonderful. The four Pevensie freshers were equal parts likeable and entertaining, Jadis and her wolves slayed, Mr Tumnus and Mr and Mrs Beaver were sweet but funny, and Aslan was hysterical. The set design, much of which was used in all three productions, was beautiful, although the amount of empty alcohol bottles made me worry about the livers of Glasgow’s student population.

Despite the stereotype of student theatre as uniformly terrible, STAG’s The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was a truly great production and a testament to all the talent, new and old, that Glasgow University possesses.

[Laura Foster]

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