Final casting was announced today for the smash-hit Leeds Playhouse production of C.S. Lewis’ classic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which heads to Sunderland Empire from Tuesday 30 November to Saturday 4 December 2021 as part of a major tour of the UK and Ireland. TV and theatre star Samantha Womack completes the cast to play Narnia’s evil White Witch.
Samantha Womack said of her new role: ‘Having been a huge fan of C S Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for as long as I can remember, I am thrilled to be playing the The White Witch. The book has always been a magical read and having watched incredible actors interpret this role in the past, I am excited to see what she holds for me. This production is so beautifully conceived with thrilling sets and costumes and an amazingly talented cast and creative team. I can’t wait to seduce, plot and terrify Narnia into a permanent winter.’
Samantha Womack returns to the theatre after her recent success playing the lead role in the sold-out production of The Girl on the Train in the West End and on tour. Sam’s past theatre roles include the Tony award-winning production of South Pacific in which she starred alongside Patrick Swayze, Guys and Dolls at London’s Piccadilly Theare (directed by Michael Grandage) and playing Emma in an award-winning production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal (directed by Sir Peter Hall). Her varied work on television has seen Samantha moving from comedy to drama with the cult success of BBC’s Game On and Babes in the Wood to ITV’s gritty crime drama Liverpool 1, Imogen’s Face and Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders. Films include playing the unhinged mother of Eggsy in the The Kingsman franchise sharing the screen with Colin Firth and Samuel L Jackson and playing Hazel in Jon Godbers Up ‘n Under.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe broke box office records at Leeds Playhouse in 2017 and played to packed houses and critical acclaim at the Bridge Theatre in London in 2019.
Step through the wardrobe into the enchanted kingdom of Narnia. Join Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter as they wave goodbye to wartime Britain and embark on the most magical of adventures in a frozen, faraway land where they meet a faun, talking beavers, Aslan (the noble king of Narnia) and the coldest, most evil White Witch.
Joining Samantha Womack in the cast are: Ammar Duffus (Peter Pevensie), Shaka Kalokoh (Edmund Pevensie), Robyn Sinclair (Susan Pevensie) and Karise Yansen (Lucy Pevensie). Aslan is played by Chris Jared, Mr Tumnus by Jez Unwin, Mr Beaver by Sam Buttery and Maugrim by Michael Ahomka-Lindsay. They are joined by Oliver Bingham (Mr Brinkworth, March Hare and Aslan Puppeteer), Scott Brooks (Mr Pope, Fox Trot, Associate Music Captain), Rachel Dawson (Miss Chutney, Blue Badger and Spirit of the Moon), Oliver Grant (Mr Wilson, Schrodinger, Red Squirrel and Aslan Puppeteer), Matthew James Hinchliffe (Mr Marsden, Mauve Mole), Tash Holway (on stage Swing, Dance Captain), Shaun McCourt (Mr Granville, Jack Rabbit, Aslan Puppeteer), Sophie Naglik (on stage Swing) Kate Parr (Miss Gumley-Warmley and Phoenix), Anthony Starr (on stage Swing), Christina Tedders (Mrs Beaver), Brad Veitch (on stage Swing), Johnson Willis (Professor Kirk, Father Christmas, Wise Owl and White Mouse) and Grace Wylde (Mrs Pevensie, Robin and Falcon).
The tour will be directed by Michael Fentiman, based on the original production by Sally Cookson with original Set and Costume design by Rae Smith. Michael’s previous productions include the Olivier Award-nominated Amélie (Watermill Theatre/The Other Palace/UK Tour/West End), The Windsors: Endgame (West End), The Importance of Being Earnest (Vaudeville Theatre), the 50th anniversary production of Joe Orton’s Loot (Park Theatre/Watermill Theatre), Titus Andronicus and Ahasverus (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Taming of the Shrew (Sherman Theatre/Tron Theatre) and, as director and writer, CinderELLA (Nuffield Southampton) and The Last Days of Anne Boleyn (Tower of London).
Joining Michael Fentiman on the creative team are Tour Set and Costume Designer Tom Paris, Dramaturg Adam Peck, Composer Benji Bower with additional composition by Music Supervisor Barnaby Race, Choreographer Shannelle ‘Tali’ Fergus, Lighting Designer Jack Knowles, Sound Designers Ian Dickinson and Gareth Tucker for Autograph, Puppetry Director Toby Olié, Puppetry Designer Max Humphries, Aerial Director Gwen Hales, Illusionist Chris Fisher, Music Director Toby Higgins, Movement Consultant Dan Canham, Casting Director Will Burton, Fight Director Jonathan Holby, Costume Supervisor Joanna Coe, Wigs and Make Up Supervisor Susanna Peretz, Props Supervisor Lizzie Frankl, and Associate Director James Callàs Ball.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is produced on tour by Elliott & Harper Productions and Catherine Schreiber and based on the original Leeds Playhouse production.
Producer Chris Harper said: ‘We are so proud of the cast and creative team that we have assembled for our forthcoming tour of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and are delighted to welcome incredibly talented Samantha Womack as the White Witch.’
This critically acclaimed production is “A theatrical miracle” (The Times).
★★★★★ Sunday Times “This vision of Narnia will restore your faith in theatre” ★★★★★ DAILY MAIL “Spectacular new life for Narnia” ★★★★ THE TELEGRAPH ‘An absolutely spellbinding return to Narnia’
Tickets are available from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 7615* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland*. (*Calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your standard network charge. Booking fees may apply to telephone and online bookings).
Show: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Venue: Sunderland Empire, High St West, Sunderland, SR1 3EX
Dates: Tuesday 30 November to Saturday 4 December 2021
Times: Tue - Sat at 19:00; Weds and Sat at 14:00
Tickets: Ticket Centre on 0844 871 7615* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland*. (*Calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your standard network charge. Booking fees may apply to telephone and online bookings).