STEVE Tearle, Jess Douglas and NEMusicals York present Irita Kutchmy’s musical retelling of C S Lewis’s enduring classic, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe this week.

This is the first time this particular production has been staged in York, but the cast and crew have embraced the challenge of bringing the magical and much beloved land of Narnia to life.

The decision to incorporate blank backgrounds, semi-transparent screens and projection cameras into the set design lends a great versatility to the otherwise limited space of the stage. The moving backgrounds and the transitions between our world and Narnia stand out in particular, allowing scenes to run uninterrupted by more conventional scenery changes.

The costume work is similarly impressive, with the patchwork style of the various animal characters creating an effective contrast to the smart clothes of the visiting children or the White Witch’s voluminous fur cape and glittering crown.

Speaking of the children, the young actors shine here in their principal roles, especially Margaux Barker and Jack Hambleton, playing Lucy and Edmund respectively. Both do sterling work, especially in scenes where they either have to stand on their own or act alongside more seasoned adults.

Hambleton, in particular, faces a daunting prospect, having to play either a sympathetic young boy or a complete toad – sometimes both in the same scene – but he rises to it admirably.

The rest of the cast acquit themselves well too. Despite a few slight line flubs here and there, they are all expressive, humorous and compelling. Perri Ann Barley triumphantly revels in her role as the White Witch, managing to be both menacing and amusing in equal measure, while Steve Tearle’s turn as Aslan, the lion, is softly spoken but nonetheless commanding.

If there is a criticism to be made, the show feel somewhat rushed in places, and there are a few dangling threads that, while expanded on in the original story, are abruptly truncated or ignored. It doesn’t spoil the production overall, but it would be nice to see some of these points play out in more detail. NEMusicals have brought the magic of Narnia to York, creating a fantastic adventure for both children and adults.

The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, NEMusicals, York, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, until Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee. Box office: 01904 501935 or