St George’s Hall is gateway to Narnia

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Mr Tumnus © Annie Spiers

Mr Tumnus © Annie Spiers

St George’s Hall welcomes the public to meet the characters of the Narnia Experience for the second time round, in a production featuring actors who break barriers by accepting their disabilities.

Thousands of people will come to Liverpool to see the adaption of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the iconic book by C S Lewis which has been loved by children for many years.

It is the second year running the production has been staged in the city.

In 2011, the walk-through theatrical show was a huge success and attracted more than 17,000 visitors to the city.

The public are invited to step into the roles of either Lucy or Edmund and enter the wardrobe of fur coats to be greeted by characters such as Mr Tumnus, Mrs Beaver and the White Witch in the makeshift winter wonderland.

The event is put together by Christian Charity ‘In Another Place’ which uses the arts to share the Christian message and develop community partnerships.

The production involves more than 500 volunteers from community groups and churches across Merseyside. It has also helped three young actors to overcome challenges and barriers that they face in life.

Jack Winter, 22, of Wavertree is preparing to play Mr Tumnus. He has dyslexia, dyspraxia,  and ADHD. He feels he has really learned about the value of volunteering and he has developed new acting skills.

He told JMU Journalism: “My involvement in Narnia has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me, it’s given me things to do with my life and I think it is making me a better person.”

Married couple Gary and Gina Southern of Kensington have also gained a new experience as part of the Narnia team. Gina has a chromosomal genetic problem which causes obesity  and her husband Gary has learning difficulties.

Together Gary and Gina are a great team and they will be taking on the roles of statues coming back to life in the Witch’s Courtyard.

The couple have often been the brunt of unkind comments from people which is one of the reasons they both turned to acting to build their confidence.

One of the songs in the Narnia production includes the words ‘There’s a place for us – exactly who you are is just enough” …  and Gary and Gina say that they both feel this is true of their involvement with Narnia.

Gary told JMU Journalism: “I am looking forward to it. This is the first play I have ever been in.

“Gina has done a bit of acting but is also excited to be part of such a big production.”

Annie Spiers, director of The Narnia Experience, said: “We are sure the 2013 production will delight first time visitors and returning ones.

“To put an event on of this scale with volunteers from all backgrounds and abilities shows what can be achieved.”

The production is on from 9.30am from 11–23 February. Tickets are priced at £4 for single and £11 for families. Purchase them From St George’s Hall or


About Sara Ainsworth, JMU Journalism