Well done everyone for The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe!

Well done to our Junior Youth Theatre on “by far the best at The Courtyard so far”

From Wed 12 – Sat 15 April 2023, The Courtyard Junior Youth Theatre put on a spectacular performance of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. We want to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone involved in what was a magical show, brimming with young creative talent! From the exceptional performers, to the wonderful creative team, and from the fabulous backstage crew to the hard-working Courtyard staff, so much time, effort and enthusiasm went in to creating what has been widely regarded as one of our best shows to date. Once again, we saw the importance of Youth Theatre demonstrated through the confidence, ability, friendship and skill of so many young people on The Courtyard stage!

A note from the Producer, David Durant

The Courtyard’s Junior Youth Theatre Production has been a stalwart of the organisation for a very long time. If you simply mention it to any member of staff it will conjure up numerous memories of working on the production. As well as this, the number of young people from this county who have been involved with it number several thousand! It is an amazing experience to be involved with and gives lasting skills that aid the Youth Theatre, who get to perform as part of it, build friendships and encourage confidence which is often something we all need.

The Lion, The Wich & The Wardobe production shot
The White Witch and her minions
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe production shot
Aslan, Peter, and different creatures from Narnia ready for battle

The premise for the project is simple: stage a theatre production with 4 – 14 year olds. However, there are usually between 120 – 150 young people split into 2 casts, so the show is being done twice. Then add 2 terms worth of rehearsals covering singing, dancing and of course acting, set design, costumes and props, along with all the marketing and technical support and then finally the week of the performance, which usually has over 2,500 people come and see the show. Once you add all of that into the mix you begin to realise what a massive undertaking this production is for everyone involved.

“I think I’ve just climbed back out of that wardrobe, enjoyable show, such talent! Well done all.” Audience member

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe production shot
Susan, Lucy, Edmund and Peter about to enter the wardrobe
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe production shot
Peter and the White Witch in battle

“Came & saw [The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe] with my granddaughter yesterday, absolutely wonderful, congratulations to everyone involved on a very professional production” Audience member

This year’s Junior Youth Theatre Production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is no exception. Although, having said that, there was one slight difference and that is this: it’s the first Junior Youth Theatre Production since the first lockdown, and a question did hang over everyones’ heads like Damocles Sword and that was: had we forgotten how to do it? The simple answer to that is no and the reason for this is because it would not have happened without all of the hard work, endless enthusiasm and commitment from everyone who was involved.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe production shot
Queen Susan, with Mr and Mrs Beaver and residents of Narnia
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe production shot
Lucy exploring the books in Mr Tumnus’ house

Thank you, everyone!

From the Youth Theatre participants, to the director, designers, chaperones and the parents who drove a ridiculous amount of hours getting their children to all of the rehearsals. Without all of you this production would not have happened. We would like to say a huge thank you for all your time and effort in giving the Youth Theatre members an amazing experience, something that will live with them for the rest of their lives. It is always deeply moving to see all the young people on the stage reaching news levels of ability and discovering things about themselves they didn’t think possible, especially when some of them have never been on the stage before.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardobe production shot
Young evacuees
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe production shot
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe blue cast on stage

What has also been so rewarding is the records that have been broken this year by the Junior Youth Theatre Production. They are: the most tickets ever sold and the most income taken at the Box Office for the production. With well over 2,600 people watching the play and almost £37,000 taken on the Box Office it is so wonderful to see the young people supported by audiences that are made up of friends, family and the local community. Again, we’d like to thank you all for the support you’ve given to come and see this show. It has a huge impact on so many.

“In a mixture of professionalism from the young actors and also humour at times, the children of The Courtyard’s Youth Theatre did themselves proud and made the audience chuckle with laughter throughout the performance. ” Your Herefordshire

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe production shot
The beavers of Narnia, with Peter
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe production shot
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe orange cast on stage


So where can Youth Theatre take you?

What is really interesting is the records that have been broken have stood for 10 years. Having kept in touch with some of the cast members from the 2011 Junior Youth Theatre production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, it has been really interesting to hear what many of the young people have gone on to do. For example: Mr and Mrs Beaver are both now Police Officers. Aslan is a Doctor, Edmund went on to work for Lucas Arts on the Star Wars films, Peter is studying History at Oxford, Susan is in music production and Lucy is running her own caking making business! However, all of those young people have been able to achieve these things because of their experiences in Youth Theatre. Most importantly, that is down to the help and support given to the Junior Youth Theatre production by everyone involved. So, with that in mind, I wonder what this cast will go on to do?

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe production shot
Lucy and the beavers in Narnia
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe production shot
peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy in Narnia with Mr and Mrs Beaver

“Saw the Blue Cast’s faultless show last night, the professionalism from the actors aged preschool to year 9 was amazing. Everyone is a star. Congratulations!” Audience member

Interested in being involved in our Youth Theatre?

We run a range of Youth Theatre classes for young people. These cover Hereford, Bromyard, Ross-on-Wye and Ledbury. You can find more information about class times and prices on our website here.