This month saw the culmination of months of hard work from one of the Booth King team as The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe hit the stage at the Theatre Royal in Ramsbottom, Directed by Elizabeth Dunn.
Elizabeth has been involved with Summerseat Players at the Theatre Royal for many years after starting at the youth theatre. Since then, she has taken part in many productions performing on stage, working back stage and over the last few years also directing; however, Narnia has been one of the largest and most challenging projects she has ever undertaken.
Not only has this production involved a large cast, including youth members and people new to the stage, and there have been the normal directorial challenges of liaising with various teams for Lighting, sound, costume, back stage, set building and fight choreography ; she has also made many things herself. All the masks for the animal characters were made to fit each individual face, faun feet for Mr Tumnus, crown and wand for the white witch, crowns for the kings and queens and a 7ft tall lion puppet to portray the great lion Aslan. The puppet, which is operated by three actors was constructed using willow withies and tight material. Though very creative in many ways this is the first time Elizabeth has worked with willow or on a puppet, or anything, of this size and has been delighted and relieved by the result.
The production ran for 10 performances from Thursday 8th Nov to Saturday 17th Nov including a matinee performance on Saturday 10th and played to full houses garnering fantastic reviews.
Elizabeth takes a short break now – if such a thing can be had over Christmas – before she starts rehearsals for her next production in January, acting on stage this time as the determined Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
At the Greater Manchester Drama Federation Awards the production won Best Production, Best Youth Performers Female, Best Technical, and an Adjudicators Award for Elizabeth for the design and construction of the puppet Aslan ‘regal in voice, appearance and movement’.
Elizabeth was also nominated for Best Director for Narnia and Best Actress for her role as Lady Macbeth.