Saturday, 30 July 2016

Review: Shadowlands

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Shadowlands.
Having not been to the theatre in quite a while, Mum was having a look online to see what shows were on locally in upcoming weeks. Upon looking at Richmond Theatre's website, she came across 'Shadowlands'. She read the synopsis of the play and thought it would be a good show to see. The show follows the true love story of CS Lewis and Joy Gresham. Lewis, a leading Christian academic and author of many classic books including The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, , remained a bachelor until his fifties, when he met Joy Davidman. He was enchanted by this remarkable American woman, a divorcee with two young children. They fell in love and were secretly married. Lewis' ensuing encounter with love and suffering led him to reconsider many of the beliefs he had held so staunchly before their fateful meeting. This is a play that I found to be really moving and thought provoking, especially as the character of Joy suffers with cancer, something my Mum is a survivor of. The play delivered such a strong message, it really shows you how important it is to spend time with those close to you and not to sweat the small stuff. I came away from the play with the thought that time is very precious. I was so engrossed in the story and following the play my Mum even did some more research into C. S. Lewis. He was such a remarkable man and it was so interesting to follow his story. Cast members who stood out were Stephen Boxer as C. S. Lewis, Amanda Ryan as Joy Gresham, Denis Lill as Major W. H Lewis. The whole cast were a delight to watch! Stephen Boxer's portrayal is utter perfection. He put so much emotion into the role, he was so well cast. The costumes and lighting were both really well designed. The set was fantastic, which I didn't expect as most of the touring productions I see have minimalist sets. I did some research about the play and found that it had been to the West End and Broadway many years ago. A revival was done in the West End 9 years ago, how about another one? ;) This production has a really mesmerising cast, especially it's leading actor and actress and is definitely West End worthy.

The featured star of Shadowlands is, drum roll please... STEPHEN BOXER!

Stephen gave such a powerful performance and managed to portray C. S. Lewis so masterfully. His strongest point comes towards the end of act two, which really is phenomenal. His performance was definitely the highlight of the whole show and I hope to see him in more productions soon.

Now for my final verdict on Shadowlands. I give Shadowlands...

Before writing this sentence, I went to look up what venues Shadowlands will be playing next. Sadly Richmond Theatre is Shadowlands last stop on the tour, with closing night tonight. To anyone thinking whether to see the show before it closes... do it! You won't regret it!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

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